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Written and compiled by the Federal Writers Project of the 
Works Progress Administration for the City of New Orleans 




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The greatest power against which the city of New Orleans 
has had to pit its strength has been also the source of 
its life: the Mississippi River. The struggle to use 
and control it has resulted in brilliant feats of. 
commerce, engineering, sanitation, and medioal research. 
The writers of the Federal Writers 1 Project of 
New Orleans have, I think, succeeded in conveying the 
quality of their romantic and powerful city; the sense of 
its strength and destiny, as well as its gaiety, ease and 
its art of living, 

"What this book does for the oity of New Orleans, the 
American Guide series aims to do for the life and times 
of the forty-eight startes and a number of important 
American cities and townsprobably the most ambitious 
attempt as yet made to portray honestly and completely the 
history, struggles, and triumphs of the American people. 
If the Federal Writers manage to complete this job in the 
same competent manner evidenced in their publications made 
available to date, we can expect the series to become a 
standard reference collection for students of almost every 
aspect of American life. 

Harry L. 



HARRY L. HOPKINS, Administrator 

ELLEN S. WOODWARD, Assistant Administrator 

HENRY G. ALSBERG, Director of Federal Writers Project 




January 14th, 1938, 

The Sew Orleans City Guide is the first 
major accomplishment of the Federal Writers* 
Project of Louisiana. More than a conventional 
guidebook, this volume attempts to describe 
the history and heritage of New Orleans, as 
well as its numerous points of interest. 

As Mayor of New Orleans, I am greatly 
pleased that this publication is being made 
available to the public. 

Mayor of New Orleans. 


THE New Orleans City Guide has been compiled and edited by the work 
ers on the New Orleans division of the Federal Writers Project of Louisi 
ana, and is one of an extensive series of American guides being compiled 
by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration. 
Its purpose is to present as complete a picture as possible of New Orleans 
within the limits of a volume that is not too unwieldy. For generous 
co-operation in supplying information, offering advice and suggestions, 
and for other assistance during the preparation of this volume, grateful 
acknowledgments are due to many persons and institutions, both public 
and private. We are particularly indebted to the following four people 
who have read and criticized the manuscript as a whole: the Reverend 
Harold A. Gaudin, President of Loyola University; Mr. Robert Usher, 
Librarian of the Howard Memorial Library, who in addition wrote the 
paragraph on the founding of New Orleans which has been incorporated 
in the French Quarter Tour; Mr. Richard Kirk of Tulane University; 
and Mr. Hermann Deutsch of the New Orleans Item. 

We are also indebted to a number of people who read and criticized 
parts of the manuscript dealing with their own special fields, including 
Mr. Nathaniel Curtis and Mr. Moise Goldstein Architecture; and Mr. 
Stanley Clisby Arthur French Quarter Tour. 

We are likewise indebted to the libraries, museums, and newspaper 
offices of the city and to the Association of Commerce for their con 
sistent co-operation. Other acknowledgments are made in the text and 
in the bibliography. 

We are indebted for certain of the photographs to the New Orleans 
Association of Commerce, the Times-Picayune, and the Historic Amer 
ican Buildings Survey. Most of the photographs, however, and all of 
the drawings are the work of staff artists and photographers. 

Although few cross-references have been used in the text, the detailed 
index should make it simple for the reader to find whatever he is looking 

LYLE SAXON, State Director 

EDWARD P. DREYER, Assistant State Director 


By Harry L. Hopkins, Federal Administrator, Works Pro 
gress Administration 

By Robert S. Maestri, Mayor of New Orleans 

By Lyle Saxon, State Director, Federal Writers Project 





NIGHT LIFE xxxvii 


Amateur and Professional Sports Events 









xii Contents 














Music 131 










French Quarter Tour 229 

Water-Front Tour 270 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 286 

Contents xiii 

Motor Tour 2 (Bayou Road to City Park) 304 

Motor Tour 3 (Audubon Park to Universities) 313 

Motor Tour 4 (Irish Channel to Garden District) 345 

Algiers Tour 358 

Here and There 363 

Plantation Tour 371 

St. Bernard Plaquemines Tour 379 

New Orleans Covington Tour 384 

Plaquemines Delta Tour 387 

New Orleans Grand Isle Tour 391 







INDEX 417 



Fort Pike 

W. Lincoln Highton 
Whitewashing the tombs for All 

Saints Day 

Lafitte Blacksmith Shop 
Napoleon House, residence of 
Mayor Girod 

Eugene Dclcroix 
The Old Ursuline Convent 

Survey of Historic American Build 


Ships of all nations and all types 

dock at New Orleans 
The Steamboat Natchez loaded 

with cotton bales 
New Orleans sky line 
Shushan Airport 
Huey P. Long Bridge across the 

The Crescent City 

Courtesy of the Association of Com 

Public grain elevator on water-front 
Canal Street, separating the old 

from the new city 


The Cabildo Door 
The Cabildo 

W. Lincoln Highton 
The George W. Cable house 
The Grace King house 
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre 
Annual Open Air Art Exhibit in the 
French Quarter 

between pages 30 and ji 

Tombs reflected in the Lagoon, 

Metairie Cemetery 
Antique shops, Royal Street 
Sieur de Bienville 
The Baroness Pontalba 
The Forsyth House where Jefferson 

Davis died 
The Orleans Club 
Margaret s Statue 
Old St. Louis Cemetery 
W. Lincoln Highton 

between pages 60 and 61 

Ferries cross and recross the Missis 
sippi to Algiers 

The New French Market 

Unloading bananas 

Everyone drinks cafe au lait at the 
French Market 

Coffee Wharf, showing flags used to 
assort coffee 

The sea wall along Lake Pontchartrain 
toward the beach and amusement 

Nets hung up to dry near Lafitte 

between pages 106 and 107 

The Blackberry woman (Bronze by 

Richmond Barthe) 
The City Hall, designed by Gallier 
Delgado Art Museum 
St. Joseph s altar 




St. Louis Cathedral, seen from the 
Pontalba Apartments 
W. Lincoln Highton 

The Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, the 
Presby tere and the lower Pontalba 
Building in Jackson Square 

The Old Bank of Louisiana, de 
signed by Latrobe 

Detail of the Cathedral 
W. Lincoln Highton 

Ready for the Carnival 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 
Rex, Lord of Misrule 

Courtesy of the Association of Com 

Masks for the revellers 
King Zulu 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 
Death and Medusa at the Carni 

An old-fashioned group in a car 

Chimney sweeps 

Little communion 

A spasm band 

Tourists (drawing by Caroline 

Cemeteries (drawing by Caroline 

Tante Eulalie et Mademoiselle 


A courtyard, 529 Royal Street 

Madame John s Legacy 

The Court of the Lions 

Le Prete House, one of the strangest 

in the Vieux Carre 
Sieur George s House, made famous 

by Cable s romance 
Orleans Street with a rear view of 

St. Louis : Cathedral. Convent 

of the Holy Family at the left. 

between pages 152 and 153 

The Pontalba Apartments 
W. Lincoln Highton 

Stairway in the Pontalba Apartments 
W. Lincoln Highton 

The Britten House famed for its corn 
stalk fence 

A Bayou St. John Plantation House 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Old Mortu 
ary Chapel 

Trinity Church (Episcopal) 

between pages 182 and 183 
The King of Comus greets the 
Royal Family of Rex 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 
The maskers on the floats toss favors 
into the streets 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 
The Knights come riding 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 
Maskers dance in the street 
Clowns waiting for Rex 
Street maskers 

Courtesy of Times-Picayune 

between pages 212 and 213 
Mimi (drawing by Caroline Duri 

Shutter girl (drawing by Caroline 

Mother Carrie (drawing by Caroline 

Zeline and Joe (drawing by Caroline 

between pages 258 and 259 
The Beauregard House 
Old Absinthe House 

Courtesy of the Association of Com 

Looking toward the Cabildo and the 

W. Lincoln Highton 

A courtyard restaurant, the Grima 



The Seal Pool, Audubon Park 
Oak Trees on the beach of Lake 

Packenham Oaks 

W. Lincoln Highton 
Bridle path, Audubon Park 
Peristyle, City Park 
Newcomb College 
The Baptist Bible Institute 

between pages 336 and jj/ 

Gibson Hall, Tulane University 

Loyola University 

At the Race Track 

Administration Building, Dillard Uni 

The old Carrollton Court House, now 
McDonogh School No. 23 

Altar of the Church of the Immacu 
late Conception (Jesuit) 


HAVE you ever been in New Orleans? If not you d better go. 
It s a nation of a queer place; day and night a show! 
Frenchmen, Spaniards, West Indians, Creoles, Mustees, 
Yankees, Kentuckians, Tennesseans, lawyers and trustees, 


Negroes in purple and fine linen, and slaves in rags and chains. 
Ships, arks, steamboats, robbers, pirates, alligators, 
Assassins, gamblers, drunkards, and cotton speculators; 
Sailors, soldiers, pretty girls, and ugly fortune-tellers; 
Pimps, imps, shrimps, and all sorts of dirty fellows; 

A progeny of all colors an infernal motley crew; 
Yellow fever in February muddy streets all the year; 
Many things to hope for, and a devilish sight to fear! 
Gold and silver bullion United States bank notes, 
Horse-racers, cock-fighters, and beggars without coats, 
Snapping-turtles, sugar, sugar-houses, water-snakes, 
Molasses, flour, whiskey, tobacco, corn and johnny-cakes, 
Beef, cattle, hogs, pork, turkeys, Kentucky rifles, 
Lumber, boards, apples, cotton, and many other trifles. 
Butter, cheese, onions, wild beasts in wooden cages, 
Barbers, waiters, draymen, with the highest sort of wages. 

THIS was written more than a hundred years ago, when New Orleans 
had already passed its first century mark, by one Colonel Creecy, a 
man of parts and of gusto. New Orleans today, with a population of 
nearly half a million, the largest city south of the Mason-Dixon line, 
and one of the largest ports in the United States, is remembered with 

xx New Orleans Old and New 

pleasure by countless travelers who have taken the colonel s advice. 
Alligators, to be sure, are now seldom encountered outside of curio 
stores; but cotton speculators are still at large. Sailors and pretty girls, 
horse-racers and cock-fighters are always with us, to say nothing of the 
pimps and the imps and the shrimps. And there are the Mardi Gras, 
the French Quarter, the cemeteries above ground, the river, the lake, 
the food, and the drinks. 

Traditionally the city that care forgot, New Orleans is, perhaps, best 
known for its liberal attitude toward human frailties, its Live and Let 
Live policy. To the tourist the city is first of all a place in which to 
eat, drink, and be merry. Generations of gourmands and tipplers have 
waxed fat on gumbo and bouillabaisse and pompano, and gay on gin 
fizzes and absinthe drips and Sazerac cocktails; many of them, Thackeray 
and Mark Twain included, have communicated their appreciation of the 
American Paris to the world. Generations of revelers have gone their 
joyous way through Carnival Season to Mardi Gras, that maddest of 
all mad days when every man may be a king, or, if he prefers, a tramp or 
a clown or an Indian chief, and dance in the streets. Generations of 
dandies and sports and adventurers have, with their ladies, played 
fast and loose in the gambling-houses and * sporting houses of the Ameri 
can Marseilles. Ever since the middle of the eighteenth century, when 
the Marquis de Vaudreuil attempted to set up in Nouvelle Orleans a 
miniature Versailles, a reputation for gaiety and abandon has persisted. 
These, then, the joys of the flesh, the traveler first remembers. 

But there are other memories in that strange jumble of recollections 
which the visitor to New Orleans takes away. For New Orleans is like 
wise a pious and virtuous city. For a hundred years Catholicism was the 
religion commanded by law, and the Catholic Church still controls the 
largest congregation in the city, adding, with its processions and feasts 
and rituals, color to the lives of even non-Catholics. Other religious de 
nominations have, of course, long since established strong followings. 
New Orleans today is a city of much faith and of many faiths, where 
people still pray and where the personal columns of the newspapers give 
daily evidence that prayers are still answered. 

And then there is the French Quarter, that Vieux Carre or Old Square 
which lies below Canal Street and along the Mississippi River. Once 
the walled city of Nouvelle Orleans, it remains today one of the most 
interesting spots in the United States. 

Here one finds the narrow streets with overhanging balconies, the 
beautiful wrought-iron and cast-iron railings, the great barred doors and 

New Orleans Old and New xxi 

tropical courtyards. Many of these fine houses are more than a century 
and a quarter old, and they stand today as monuments to their forgotten 
architects. For it must be remembered that New Orleans was a Latin 
city already a century old before it became a part of the United States; 
and it was as unlike the American cities along the Atlantic seaboard as 
though Louisiana were on another continent. Louisiana was closely allied 
to France and Spain, and had almost nothing to do with the American 
Revolution; it became a part of the United States through purchase. 
Even today New Orleans American city though it is still retains a 
definite Latin quality. 

Dividing the older downtown section of the city from the uptown or 
American section lies Canal Street, a magnificent thoroughfare, one of 
the widest streets in the United States, and reputed to be one of the 
four best-lighted streets in the world. In winter it is full of the usual 
urban bustle of the American city, but in summer, when life becomes 
slow and lazy, Canal Street at night presents a charming picture. It is 
rather like a slow-motion moving picture as white-clad men and women 
stroll along the brightly lighted thoroughfare, stopping to imbibe the 
ever-popular iced drinks, then continuing the evening promenade. 

Going uptown (or south) from Canal Street, one reaches the Garden 
District, bounded by St. Charles, Jackson, and Louisiana Avenues and by 
Magazine Street. Built nearly a hundred years ago, it is a beautiful 
section today, recalling an earlier, happier, and more leisurely period. 
Here stand large, handsome houses built by the first Americans who came 
to Louisiana after the Purchase in 1803. The houses are set deep in 
gardens; there are broad verandas (called galleries in Louisiana) and 
the large white columns of the Greek Revival. There are graceful cast- 
iron railings, white doorways bright through vines and palm trees, and 
high brick walls enclosing gardens which blossom with magnolias, crepe- 
myrtles, oleanders, azaleas, and gardenias. There is scarcely a day in the 
year when flowers cannot be seen. 

Continuing uptown beyond the Garden District, we find more broad 
avenues lined with great trees and well-kept lawns and gardens. This 
section extends for miles. St. Charles Avenue is the main thoroughfare, 
and the adjoining streets are filled with pleasing houses and gardens. 
The residential district is full of charm. Even the humbler homes have 
flowers and well-kept hedges; and there are large and beautiful parks. 
New Orleans is a city that lives outdoors in summertime. 

St. Charles Avenue eventually reaches Carrollton Avenue, and this 
neighborhood was once the separately incorporated town of Carrollton. 

xxii New Orleans Old and New 

Near the river-front above Canal Street is the old American business 
section, in some ways very much like the French Quarter, which lies be 
low Canal Street. Nowadays it is given over to wholesale dealers near 
Canal Street, and to a poor neighborhood as one goes farther uptown. 
This section is known today as * The Irish Channel because of the numbers 
of Irish families who once lived there. It bears the reputation of being 
tough, but it is probably no tougher than other localities lying along the 

The visitor to New Orleans is always interested in the Port and in the 
docks, which extend for fourteen miles along the river. Here are vessels 
which sail the Seven Seas, and flags of all nations flutter at the mast 
heads. Ferries cross and recross the Mississippi, which is approximately 
a half mile wide at New Orleans. Sea gulls follow the ships, searching for 
food, and make the visitor realize that the Gulf of Mexico is not far 

The wharves are divided into sections, each with its particular use; 
there are grain wharves, cotton sheds, and, most interesting to the visitor, 
the wharves where the great green bunches of bananas are transported from 
ships to freight cars. When a banana ship is in port, the wharf presents 
a scene of great activity; hundreds of laborers carry the fruit to the wait 
ing cars. Old Negro women, fat and wearing snowy turbans on their 
heads, move about in the crowd selling sandwiches and sweet cakes. 
Those who taste their wares find the dainties both appetizing and tooth 
some. All day long the groaning conveyors lift bunches of bananas from 
the hold of the ship, and all day long the men continue to move in a line 
carrying them. Darkness falls and the lights flash on; there are long 
swaying shadows, and the fruit is doubly green in the artificial light. 
The hours pass by and the men continue at their labor. Then there is a 
shout and the great conveyors stop. The ship is empty. The line breaks, 
the men scatter, forming another line before the paymaster. 

The coffee docks, the cotton docks, and the molasses sheds all present 
interesting scenes of activity during the working day. But as a rule it is 
only the banana wharf which presents an interesting activity in the 

Across the river from the foot of Canal Street lies Algiers, a part of 
New Orleans, but connected directly with it by ferry traffic only, and 
preserving to a considerable extent the atmosphere of a small Louisiana 
town. Gretna, Harvey, Marrero, and Westwego are other towns which 
line the river above Algiers and are likewise reached by ferries. Nine 
miles above the city the Huey P. Long Bridge, the twenty-ninth and one 

New Orleans Old and New xxiii 

of the finest spans across the Mississippi, gives New Orleans an unbroken 
highway to the west. 

Toward the northern boundary of the city lie the suburban districts 
Gentilly and Metairie and beyond them is Lake Pontchartrain, 
which plays an important part in the social life of New Orleans in the 
summer. One of the largest lakes in the country, its water is somewhat 
salty, as it connects with Lake Borgne, which, in turn, connects with the 
Gulf of Mexico. Here the city has erected a sea wall for protection from 
the high waves of tropical storms; and here, off the wall from West 
End to the Industrial Canal, the people of New Orleans swim. On Sun 
days and holidays many thousands spend the day at the lake. There are 
also amusement parks, restaurants, and open squares with palms and 
flowers. In addition to the lake shore, there are Audubon and City Parks, 
each equally lovely and well kept, and each provided with large swimming 
pools, tennis courts, and golf links. A pleasant feature is night swimming 
and tennis, as pools and courts alike are illuminated. At present (1937), 
both parks and the lake shore are being beautified by the Federal 
Government through Works Progress Administration projects. 

Throughout a tour of the city one cannot fail to be impressed by streets 
whose names are derived from saints, soldiers, authors, and astronomers, 
from classical mythology and Indian legend, from fish and fowl, and from 
the heavenly bodies. And should the visitor be too startled by Calliope s 
journey from Jefferson Davis past the Spanish Governors, Miro and 
Galvez, and eventually to Tchoupitoulas, or by St. Claude s meeting 
first with Piety and then with Desire, or too puzzled by words such as 
Creole, lagniappe, and banquette, a brief account of street names as well 
as a glossary of unusual words and phrases in constant use in New Or 
leans has been added at the back of the book. 


Railroad Stations: Union Station, 1001 S. Rampart St., for Gulf Coast 
Lines, Illinois Central, Southern Pacific, and Yazoo and Mississippi Valley; 
Terminal Station, 1125 Canal St., for Gulf Mobile, and Northern and 
Southern Railway; 701 South Rampart St. for Louisiana and Arkansas; 
foot of Canal St. for Louisville and Nashville; 1125 Annunciation St. for 
Missouri Pacific and Texas and Pacific. 

Steamship Piers: Poydras St. for Delta Line; Galvez St. for Luckenbach 
Line; Louisa St. for Standard Fruit; Thalia St. for United Fruit. Bien- 
ville St. for Morgan Line (Southern Pacific). 

Bus Stations: 1520 Canal St. for Teche-Greyhound Lines; 207 St. Charles 
St. for Missouri Pacific Trailways. 

Airport: Shushan Airport, 9 miles from city on Lake Pontchartrain; 
Eastern Air Lines and Chicago and Southern Air Lines; 20 minutes from 
Canal St. Taxi, $1.50 per passenger each way. 

Ferries: Canal St. Ferry to Bouny St., Algiers; Jackson Avenue Ferry to 
Huey P. Long Ave. (Copernicus St.), Gretna; Louisiana Ave. Ferry to 
Destrehan Ave., Harvey; Napoleon Ave. Ferry to Barataria Road, 
Marrero; Walnut St. Ferry to Westwego. All except Louisiana Ave. 
Ferry give 24-hour service. 

Excursions: River excursion steamer, leaving from the foot of Canal 
St., makes day and night harbor trips from October to May. Several 
weekly excursions via Harvey Canal are made to Grand Isle. For in 
formation and schedules consult Grand Isle Chamber of Commerce, 
Carondelet Building. 

Taxis: Fare 40^ (i or 5 passengers) within city zone (roughly the metro 
politan area west of the Inner-Harbor Navigation Canal), with pro 
portionate increase beyond. Have understanding with taxi-driver before 
making out-of-zone trips. 

xxvi General Information 

Street-cars: Trolleys and motor-busses serve all sections of the city. Fare 
li with universal transfer. All lines except Napoleon Ave. start at Canal 

Traffic Regulations: Care must be taken to observe the signal lights and 
direction signs at street intersections. These signs are either in center of 
street or on sidewalk. Many one-way streets, indicated by arrow signs 
at every intersection, will be encountered throughout the city; all cross- 
streets between Decatur and Rampart on Canal are one-way streets. 
Watch for No Left Turn signs. When left turn is permitted in business 
sections, get into traffic lane on extreme left and turn on red light. 
Stop, slow, and red arrow signs at dangerous corners must be obeyed 
under penalty of arrest. Persons under 16 years of age not allowed to 
drive. Secure a visitor s permit, without cost, from the License Examiner 
before 12 o clock noon of the day following arrival; good for 30 days. 
For parking consult signs or traffic officer. 

Street Order and Numbering: Streets are numbered uptown and downtown 
(north and south) from Canal Street, beginning with 100. Corners and 
sides of streets are described as uptown or downtown (upriver or down 
river) and as river or lake (woods). Streets running from river to lake are 
numbered away from the river. Even numbers are on river and uptown 
side of street, and odd numbers on lake and downtown side. Note that 
streets crossing Canal between North and South Peters and North and 
South Rampart have different names on opposite sides of Canal St. 

Accommodations: Hotels and boarding-house rates vary according to 
season and occasion. Accommodations in private homes are obtainable 
during Mardi Gras and Mid- Winter Sports Carnival. Tourist and trailer 
camps are located on US 90 and 61. Consult Association of Commerce, 
or daily newspaper bureau. (See Hotels and Restaurants.) 

Information Service: Association of Commerce and all leading hotels and 
newspaper offices. 

Theaters and Motion-Picture Houses: Twelve motion-picture theaters 
(some admitting Negroes) in business section, including one exclusively 
for Negroes; occasional road shows; concerts, ballets, and operas at 
Municipal Auditorium. 

Concert Halls: Municipal Auditorium, Jerusalem (Shriners ) Temple, and 
Dixon Hall (Newcomb College). Concerts, plays, etc., are also held at 
school auditoriums such as McMain High School and Rabouin Trade 

Sports and Recreation: See Recreational Facilities, Amateur Sports Events, 
and Professional Sports Events. 



Seventh Day Adventist, 1500 Camp St. 
Seventh Day (Negro), 2412 Delachaise St. 

American Old Catholic 
American Old Catholic, St. John Chapel, 3151 Dauphine St. 

Assembly of God 

First Assembly of God, 1033 Friscoville Ave. 
Spain Street, 1017 Spain St. 


Calvary, 802 Olivier St., Algiers 

Canal Boulevard, 5324 Canal Blvd. 

Carrollton Avenue, 2428 Carroll ton Ave. 

Central, 129 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy. 

Coliseum Place, 1376 Camp St. 

Emmanuel, 1017 N. Dorgenois St. 

First, 3436 St. Charles Ave. 

First, Opelousas Ave. and Seguin St., Algiers 

Franklin Avenue, 2515 Franklin Ave. 

Gentilly, 5141 Franklin Ave. 

Grace, N. Rampart and Alvar Sts. 

Lakeview, West End Blvd. and Polk Ave. 

Napoleon Avenue, Napoleon and S. Claiborne Aves. 

St. Charles Avenue, 7100 St. Charles Ave. 

Valence Street, 4626 Magazine St. 

Zion Travelers (Negro), 404 Adams St. 


All Saints, 1419 Teche St., Algiers 
Annunciation, 1221 Mandeville St. 

xxviii Church Guide 

Corpus Christi (Negro), 2020 St. Bernard Ave. 

Holy Ghost (Negro), 2001 Louisiana Ave. 

Holy Name of Mary, 418 Verret St., Algiers 

Holy Name of Jesus, 6363 St. Charles Ave. 

Holy Redeemer (Negro), 2122 Royal St. 

Holy Trinity, 725 St. Ferdinand St. 

Immaculate Conception (Jesuits Church), 132 Baronne St. 

Incarnate Word, 8316 Apricot St. 

Mater Dolor osa, 1226 S. Carrollton Ave. 

Our Lady of Good Counsel, 1307 Louisiana Ave. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, noi Conti St. 

Our Lady of Holy Rosary, 3368 Esplanade Ave. 

Our Lady of Lourdes, 2406 Napoleon Ave. 

Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 1728 St. Bernard Ave. 

Our Lady Star of the Sea, 1901 St. Roch Ave. 

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, 2523 Prytania St. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus, 3226 Canal St. 

St. Alphonsus, 2043 Constance St. 

St. Ann s, 2125 Ursuline Ave. 

St. Anthony of Padua, 4630 Canal St. 

St. Augustine s, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St. 

St. Cecilia s, 4219 N. Rampart St. 

St. Dominic s, 224 Harrison Ave. 

St. Francis de Sales, 2209 Second St. 

St. Francis of Assisi, 631 State St. 

St. Henry s, 812 General Pershing St. 

St. James Major, Lotus nr. Gentilly Blvd. 

St. Joan of Arc (Negro), 919 Cambronne St. 

St. John the Baptist, 1139 Dryades St. 

St. Joseph, 1810 Tulane Ave. 

St. Katherine (Negro), 1509 Tulane Ave. 

St. Leo the Great, 2916 Paris Ave. 

St. Louis Cathedral, Chartres St. bet. St. Peter and St. Ann Sts. 

St. Mary of the Angels, N. Miro and Congress Sts. 

St. Mary s Assumption, Josephine bet. Constance and Laurel Sts. 

St. Mary s Italian, 1114 Chartres St. 

St. Matthias, 4224 S. Broad St. 

St. Maurice, 605 St. Maurice Ave. 

St. Michael s, 1526 Chippewa St. 

St. Patrick s, 716 Camp St. 

St. Peter Claver (Negro), 1919 St. Philip St. 

St. Peter and St. Paul, 2317 Burgundy St. 

St. Rita s, 2620 Pine St. 

St. Rose of Lima, 2541 Bayou Rd. 

St. Stephen s, 1007 Napoleon Ave. 

St. Theresa Little Flower of Jesus, 9002 Quince St. 

St. Theresa, 1109 Coliseum St. 

St. Vincent de Paul, 3049 Dauphine St. 

Church Guide xxix 

Christian Science 

First, 1436 Nashville Ave. 
Second, 630 Common St. 
Third, 2333 Fern St. 

Church of Christ 
First, 2919 Camp St. 

Church of God 
First, 4967 DeMontluzin St. 

Church of the Nazarene 
Church of the Nazarene, 8518 Oak St. 

Congregational Church 
University (Negro), 2420 Canal St. 

Disciples of Christ 

Carrollton Ave. Christian, 4540 Carrollton Ave. 
St. Charles Ave. Christian, 6200 St. Charles Ave. 


Christ Church Cathedral, 2919 St. Charles Ave. 
Church of the Annunciation, 4515 S. Claiborne Ave. 
Church of the Holy Comforter, 4481 DeMontluzin St. 
Grace, 1501 Canal St. 
Mount Olivet, 530 Pelican Ave., Algiers 
St. Andrew s, 8021 Zimple St., cor. Carrollton Ave. 
St. Anna s, 1313 Esplanade Ave. 
St. George s, 4600 St. Charles Ave. 
St. John s, 800 Third St. 
St. Paul s, 1127 Gaiennie St. 
St. Philip s, Henry Clay Ave. and Chestnut St. 
Trinity, 1329 Jackson Ave. 


Bethany, 3712 S. Broad St. 
Bethel, 2205 Franklin Ave. 
First, 1829 Carondelet St. 
Jackson Avenue, 705 Jackson Ave. 
St. John, 8439 Belfast St. 

St. Matthew s, S. Carrollton Ave., cor. Willow St. 
St. Paul s, 5901 Patton St. 
Salem, 930 Milan St. 
Trinity Evangelical, 4439 Canal St. 


ALTHOUGH New Orleans normally possesses ample hotel and other 
facilities for the many thousands who come yearly to enjoy its mild cli 
mate, romantic atmosphere, Mid-Winter Sports Carnival, and world- 
famed Mardi Gras, to prevent possible inconvenience or disappointment 
it is suggested that visitors write or wire in advance for accommodations 
desired, especially during the winter months. 


DeSoto Hotel, 420 Baronne St. ; 226 rooms all with hot and cold running 
water, and 175 with private bath; rates $1.50 up, European plan; garage 
50^ extra; convention hall, writing-room, restaurant (lunch 60^, dinner 
$1), coffee shop, and bar. 

Jung Hotel, 1500 Canal St.; 700 rooms, all with private bath, running 
ice water, ceiling fans, servidor, and outside exposure; rates $3-$4, 
European plan; parking lot 15^ extra; roof garden, three convention halls, 
dining-room, coffee shop, bar, Turkish baths, barber shop, and beauty 

Lafayette Hotel, 628 St. Charles St.; 80 rooms, all with running water 
and ceiling fans 55 with private baths; rates, $1.75 up, European 
plan; garage 50^ extra. 

LaSalle Hotel, 1113 Canal St.; 100 rooms 70 with ceiling fans, and 50 
with private bath; rates, $1.25-$2.50, European plan; garage 50^f extra. 

Monteleone Hotel, 214 Royal St.; 600 rooms 540 have radios, 500 have 
private baths, and all have hot and cold running water and ceiling fans; 
rates $1.50-$3.50. European plan; garage 50ff, parking lot 15^; conven 
tion hall, dining-room, coffee shop, bar, and beauty parlor. 

New Orleans Hotel, 1300 Canal St.; 275 rooms, all with private bath and 
ceiling fan; rates $3 up, European plan; garage 50^ extra; convention 
hall, air-conditioned dining-room and coffee shop, writing-room, and 
barber shop. 

Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St.; 700 rooms, 400 air-conditioned; rates 
$3.50 up. European plan; garage 50^ extra; convention halls, dining- 
rooms, coffee shop, bar, cocktail lounge, beauty parlor, Turkish baths, 

xxxiv Hotel and Other Accommodations 

Senator Hotel, 208 Dauphine St.; 115 rooms 68 with private baths; 
rates $1 up. 

St. Charles Hotel, 211 St. Charles St.; 600 rooms with hot and cold water, 
and radio all with private bath; rates $3 up; European plan; dining- 
room, bar, barber shop, beauty parlor, writing-rooms, etc. 

Apartment Hotels 

Carol Hotel, 3628 St. Charles Ave. (St. Charles car from Canal and 
Baronne Sts.), thirty-six blocks from Canal; 42 rooms, each with private 
bath and ceiling fan; rates by the day $1.50 up, lower by week or month, 
a la carte or table d hote dining-room service. 

Pontchartrain Apartment Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Ave. (St. Charles car 
from Canal and Baronne Sts.) ; 80 efficiency apartments in four sizes, all 
with private baths; rates $3 per day up, $85 per month up; garage 
50f day, weekly and monthly rates available. 

Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. 

Y.M.C.A., 936 St. Charles Ave. (Lee Circle); 40 rooms for local and 
visiting members only. Central floor bath; recreational facilities avail 

Y.W.C.A., 929 Gravier St.; accommodations for 53 private rooms, 
double rooms, and dormitories (4 beds) ; central baths, coffee shop, recrea 
tional facilities; rates 75jf, $1, and $1.50; weekly and monthly rates 

Tourist Camps 

A number of tourist camps are located on US 90, 61, and 65; rates $1 
per day up. 

Accommodations for Negroes 

Page Hotel, 1038 Dryades St.; 15 rooms all with hot and cold shower 
baths, running ice water; rates 75ff to $1.50, European plan; no extra 
charge for auto parking and telephone. 

Patterson Hotel, 761 S. Rampart St.; 26 rooms, all with baths; rates 75ff 
to $1.50. 

Y.M.C.A., 2 2 20 Dryades St. (Freret car from Canal and St. Charles 
Sts.); room list available; transients placed in private homes. 

Y.W.C.A., 2436 Canal St. (Cemeteries or West End car from any place 
on Canal St.); accommodations for 36 transients; central bath; meals 
served on request; rates $1.50 week up. 

Additional Information 

There are many other small hotels, tourist camps, tourist homes, and 
boarding-houses which may be found listed in the telephone directory, or 

Hotel and Other Accommodations 


easily identified while driving about the city by the signs displayed. 
St. Charles Avenue above Poydras Street as far up as Jackson Avenue is 
lined with small hotels and rooming houses, as. likewise are Canal from 
Claiborne to Broad, Esplanade from the river to North Galvez, and 
Royal from Ursuline to Canal. Mention is made of these particular 
streets largely because of their accessibility and profuse accommodations; 
however, there are many other thoroughfares upon which such facilities 
may be found. 


NEW ORLEANS, traditionally the city that care forgot, offers to 
lovers of night life an unusual and varied number of night clubs and 
bars, ranging from the more expensive ones in the better hotels, to the 
Harlem clubs and honky-tonks of the less select sections of the city. 
There is to be found entertainment to suit every taste, with a corre 
sponding range of rates. 

At the arrival of dawn, disciples of the night turn to the French Market, 
where society matrons and truck-drivers sit on stools and drink coffee 
in friendly proximity. Another well-known place for ending the evening 
is the all-night poor boy stand of the Martin Brothers (2004 St. Claude 
Ave.), where appetites otherwise insatiable can be appeased for ten cents. 

In New Orleans, as elsewhere, clubs and bars move, change names, go 
out of business, or, from time to time, are closed by the police. This 
is particularly true of the hotter of the hot spots. The places listed 
below are those at present in operation (autumn, 1937). For later de 
velopments, ask the cab-driver. Telephone for reservations and infor 
mation concerning minimum and cover charges. 

Clubs and Bars on or Above Canal Street 

The Blue Room, a night club and cocktail lounge, is located on the 
first floor of the Roosevelt Hotel (122 Baronne St.). It offers, by way of 
entertainment in its nightly floor show, dance numbers by nationally 
known teams. Syncopated music is furnished by such orchestras as those 
of Phii Harris, Smith Ballew, and Frankie Masters. The Blue Room is 
frequently redecorated. Here may be found a circular bar, whose pride 
is the Ramos Gin Fizz made from the original recipe of the famous 
Ramos Bar. Dinner is served from 6 to 9 P.M. ; music is furnished by the 
same orchestra which plays for the dancing from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. 
Cocktail hours are from 2.30 to 5.30 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 

Crescent Billiard Hall, 117 St. Charles St. (second floor), was one of the 
first billiard halls opened in New Orleans. In addition to pool and billiard 
rooms, cocktail lounge, and bar, there is a room devoted to games. 

xxxviii Night Life 

Halson Cocktail Lounge, in the Pontchartrain Apartment Hotel at 2031 
St. Charles Ave., is open to the public from 11.30 A.M. until 12.30 A.M. 
In addition to stronger drinks, light refreshments are served. Cocktail 
hours are from 4 P.M. to 9 P.M. 

Roosevelt Bar, one of the better-class bars of the city, is a rendezvous in the 
Roosevelt Hotel. Here, as in the Blue Room, the specialty is the Ramos 
Gin Fizz ; all of the nationally known drinks as well as southern favorites 
are available. The doors are open from 8.30 A.M. to 2 A.M. customarily, 
though during the Mardi Gras season the bar remains open all night. 

St. Charles Bar (St. Charles Hotel), 211 St. Charles St., is classed among 
the oldest and best-known bars in the city. A wide variety of drinks is 
served, especial pride being taken in its Planter s Punch and Old 
Fashioned cocktail. Cocktail hours, at which there is music, are from 
4.30 to 7 P.M. and from 9.30 until midnight. The bar is open from 7 A.M. 
to 12.30 A.M. ; during the Carnival season it remains open all night. 

St. Germain Cocktail Lounge, 1753 St. Charles Ave., is open from 1 P.M. 
until the last customer leaves. Bridge groups and parties are especially 
catered to. 

Sazerac Bar, 300 Carondelet St., is the only bar in the city where the 
famous Sazerac Cocktail is mixed from a famous recipe. The doors 
are open from 8 A.M. until 9 P.M. Ladies are served only one day a year 
Mardi Gras. 

French Quarter Clubs and Bars 

Absinthe House Bar, 400 Bourbon St., has the original marble-topped bar 
formerly housed at 238 Bourbon St. (the old Absinthe House) which at one 
time was famous for its absinthe frappe. The bar is open from 6 A.M. to 


Club Plantation, 942 Conti St., is open from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. An orchestra 
furnishes music for dancing, and floor shows are presented at 2 and at 
4 A.M. The club was formerly operated by Pete Herman, blind ex- 
bantamweight champion (1922); the specialty is Planter s Punch. 

Dog House, 300 North Rampart St., is open from 9 P.M. until 4 A.M. 
Both jazz orchestra and floor show are colored, and three performances 
are given nightly, 11 P.M., 1.30 and 3 A.M. A high-class place, says the 
proprietor, for middle class people, and one where they can have freedom 
of body and soul. The taxi girls bring their lunch. 

La Lune, 800 Bourbon St., is one of the more popular spots of the French 
Quarter. The establishment is conducted in Mexican style, with Don 
Ramon and his orchestra furnishing music for dancing. Excellent Mexi 
can dinners are served and tequila may be had. The club is open from 
9 P.M. to 6 A.M. 

Monteleone Hotel Bar, located in the Monteleone Hotel at 214 Royal St., 
serves sandwiches and drinks. The specialty is the Vieux Carre Cocktail. 
The bar is open from 7 A.M. until midnight. 

Night Life xxxix 

New Silver Slipper, 426 Bourbon St., has three floor shows nightly 
11.30 P.M., 1.30 and 3 A.M. 

Nut Club (Cafe de L Opera), 507 Bourbon St., open from 10 P.M. until 
5 A.M., presents floor shows nightly at 1 and 3 A.M. Music is furnished 
by the Nut Club Ensemble, and dinner is served from 5 to 10 P.M. 

Original Absinthe House, 238 Bourbon St., was erected in 1798, and has 
served as a place of revelry almost continuously ever since. The doors are 
open from 9 P.M. until 4 A.M. There are two floor shows nightly, 12.30 
and 3 A.M. 

Pat O Brien s, 638 St. Peter St., is at present one of the most popular of 
the small bars of the Quarter and on Saturday and holiday nights is apt 
to overflow with tipplers of every description. 

Prima s Shim Sham Club, 229 Bourbon St., is open during the winter 
months from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. There are three floor shows nightly, 
11.30 P.M., 1.30 and 3.30 A.M. 

Sloppy Jim s is located at 236 Royal St., just below the Monteleone 
Hotel. The specialty here is the Sloppy Jim Cocktail. A wide variety of 
other drinks is served. The bar is open from 9 A.M. until 12 P.M. 

Also in the Vieux Carre, amid the somewhat distinctive atmosphere and 
odors of the French Market, are several Decatur Street hot spots 
whose names are perhaps indicative of the type of entertainment to be 
found. One is greeted by such names as the King Fish, where * Ya Man 
and his colored orchestra produce sizzling jazz, the Silver Moon, Guestella s, 
and Rudy s, the former names of which were Popeye s, the Rose Bowl, 
and Mama s Place, respectively. At these places the floor shows are 
marked by the utmost abandon, to say the least. The performers range 
in color from a high yaller to ebony. Floor shows are at 11.30 P.M., 
1.30 and 3 A.M. 

Suburban Night Clubs 

Chez Paree, 8502 Pontchartrain Blvd., is one of the best of the suburban 
clubs. Music is furnished by a local orchestra, and floor shows are pre 
sented at midnight and at 2 A.M. 

Cotton Club, 2935 Jefferson Highway, is open from 10 P.M. to 3 A.M. 
Entertainment is furnished by a local orchestra and there are two floor 
shows nightly, 12.30 and 2.30 A.M. 

Pirates Den, Avenue A and 38th St. (near Pontchartrain Blvd.), serves 
drinks and sandwiches. The place remains open at night as long as the 
crowd lingers; the bar is open all day. 

Prima s Penthouse, West End, especially popular during the summer be 
cause of its proximity to Lake Pontchartrain, is open from 10 P.M. until 



Beyond the city limits in the adjacent parishes of Jefferson and St. 
Bernard are several large and elaborately appointed gambling-houses: 

xl Night Life 

the Old Southport and the Original Southport in Jefferson Parish (taxi 
40(f within a half block of either place), and the Jai Alai, Arabi Club, 
and Riverview in St. Bernard Parish (taxi 75). All may be reached by 
street-car. Although gambling is, strictly speaking, illegal, these places are 
usually open for business from dusk to dawn. 

Pleasure Boats 

There is nightly dancing on Mississippi River boats from September 
through the following June; the Capitol in the earlier part of the season, 
the President later. Both boats leave the foot of Canal Street at 9 
P.M. and return at 12.30 A.M. 

Negro Night Clubs 

The Negro night clubs of New Orleans are patterned after those of 
Harlem. The proprietors visit Harlem to study the color schemes and 
acquire the atmosphere of night clubs there, because * it serves well along 
publicity lines. Even the music and floor shows are handled in the Harlem 
manner nothing less than red hot. The tunes are loud, but have the 
swing that causes Negroes to move their bodies and tap their feet. 
They b lieve in mugging. All kinds of whiskies are served; champagne 
or any kind of cocktail may be purchased. When a colored man steps 
out he is out. 

Negro night clubs open at present include: the Tick Took Tavern, 235 
S. Rampart St.; the Rhythm Club, 3000 Jackson Ave.; the Cotton Club, 
1301 Bienville St.; and the Japanese Tea Garden, 1140 St. Philip St. 
Special programs and floor shows vary. White persons are admitted to 
these night clubs at any time. Reservations may be made by telephone. 


Audubon Park (Magazine car from Canal and Magazine Sts. or St. 
Charles car from Canal and Baronne Sts.) has 247 acres of gardens, 
lagoon, zoological exhibits, and recreational facilities. Tennis courts, 
baseball diamonds, football gridirons, picnic grounds, playgrounds 
(including merry-go-round, etc.), bridle path, swimming pool, band 
stand, i8-hole golf course, boating, and fishing are recreational facilities 
to be found in the park. (See respective sports for hours, reservations, 
and admission charges.) 

City Park (Esplanade bus from Canal and Burgundy or City Park from 
Canal and Bourbon Sts. go to different entrances; Cemeteries car from 
any place on Canal transfer to Carroll ton bus at Carrollton Ave.), 
the sixth largest municipal park in the United States (extension work 
under the Works Progress Administration is raising its rank) affords 
the most extensive recreational facilities to be found in the city. Facili 
ties, including those now under construction, will eventually provide 
a stadium with a seating capacity of 25,000, a yacht basin, 12 baseball 
diamonds, 33 tennis courts, two i8-hole golf courses, football gridirons, 
picnic grounds, bridle paths, play grounds, a swimming pool, a band 
stand and boating and fishing. (See respective sports for hours, reserva 
tions and admission charges.) 

Lake Pontchartrain Shore (West End car from any place on Canal St. to 
West End; transfer to Robert E. Lee bus at West End to go to Pont 
chartrain Beach; to reach Milneburg take Frenchmen bus from Canal 
and Chartres Sts. and transfer to Milneburg bus at Frenchmen and 
Gentilly Road; taxi fare to Beach is 70^) has miles of sandy bathing 
beaches from West End to Milneburg. Extensive work under the Works 
Progress Administration will provide tennis courts, baseball diamonds, 
horseshoe courts, wading pools, etc. Cruisers, skiffs, and other craft 
may be rented at various places along the lakefront. An amusement 
park is located at Pontchartrain Beach. 

New Orleans Athletic Club, 222 N. Rampart St., has a fully equipped 

xliv Recreational Facilities 

Fishing (See Hunting and Fishing.) 


Audubon Golf Club, 473 Walnut St. (St. Charles car from Canal and 
Baronne Sts. to Walnut; walk three blocks toward river). The i8-hole 
course (5718 yards) is open to guests of members and patrons of leading 
hotels. Professional instructions are available. 

City Park Golf Courses (walk along bayou at Esplanade entrance and 
turn right after crossing railroad tracks) are the only public links in the 
city. Two i8-hole courses are available; No. i (6445 yards) and No. 2 
(5500 yards) have a 50^f fee, which entitles the golfer to play an entire 
day. On No. i it is necessary to engage a caddy (75f). Books entitling 
the purchaser to play as often as desired may be obtained for $3, exclu 
sive of caddy fees. Professional instruction is available. 

Colonial Country Club. (See above.) 
Lakewood Country Club. (See above.) 
Metairie Golf Club. (See above.) 
New Orleans Country Club. (See above.) 


Behrman Public School Gymnasium, 2800 Prytania St., corner of Wash 
ington Ave. (St. Charles car from Canal and Baronne Sts.), is operated 
as part of the recreational activities of the Orleans Parish School Board 
for basketball games and swimming classes. All school children, from 
both public and parochial schools, are permitted to enjoy its facilities 
free of charge. 

Marullo s, 343 Baronne St. (private gym for men); 316^2 St. Charles St. 
(for women). 

New Orleans Athletic Club. Available to guests of members only. 

Y.M.C.A. Classes are held at 12.15 P.M. Mondays, Wednesdays, and 
Fridays, and at 5.30 P.M. Tuesdays and Thursdays; available to guests 
of members only. 

Y.M.H.A . Available to guests of members only. 

Y.W.C.A. Morning classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and 
Fridays at 10. Evening classes are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and 
Thursdays at 6.15. Gym facilities are available to non-members. 

Audubon Riding Club, Audubon Park. 

Airport Riding Academy, Milneburg (Frenchmen bus from Canal and 
Chartres Sts.) ; taxi 70^. 

Golden Spur Riding Academy, 3000 Jefferson Highway (out S. Claiborne 
Ave. and US 61); taxi $1.50. 

Bridle paths are located in Audubon Park and City Park, along the 
levee above Audubon Park, and along the lake-front at Lake Pontchar- 

Recreational Facilities xlv 


Audubon Park Natatorium, open from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. daily from May 
to September, is divided into two 75 X 225-feet sections graduating in 
depth from three to nine feet. A children s wading pool, diving boards, 
chutes, etc., are among the facilities. 

City Park Natatorium, open from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. daily from May to 
September, is a 75 X 2oo-feet pool graduating in depth from two to 
nine feet. Suits and towels may be rented. 

Lake-front swimming may be enjoyed along the Pontchartrain sea wall 
from West End to Little Woods. A Negro beach is located a short dis 
tance west of Shushan Airport. Signs indicate the depths at various 
intervals along the sea wall. At Spanish Fort a beach (Pontchartrain 
Beach) has been made by pumping in sand from the lake. 

Masonic Temple Natatorium, 333 St. Charles St., open from 7 A.M. to 

10 P.M. from May to September, is a 17 x 42-feet pool graduating in 
depth from three to six feet. Suits and towels may be rented. 

New Orleans Athletic Club Pool (20 X 40 feet), open from 9 A.M. to 

11 P.M. daily, is fed from a salt-water well and graduates in depth from 
3>^ to 7X feet. Only members and their guests are admitted. 

New Orleans Country Club Pool, measuring 40 X 1 20 feet and graduating 
in depth from three to ten feet, is open from May to September. Only 
members and their guests are admitted. 

Y.M.C.A. Natatorium is a 20 X 6o-feet pool graduating in depth from 
two to nine feet. Only members and their guests are admitted. 

Y.M.H.A. Natatorium, open from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. daily, is a 20 X 60- 
feet pool graduating in depth from four to eight feet. Only members and 
their guests are admitted. 


Audubon Park has a total of 23 all-weather courts, 19 of which are illumi 
nated for night playing. The ticket office is located in front of the Nata 
torium. Reservations must be made in person unless the player possesses 
a ticket book entitling him to telephone reservations for day or night. 
Reservations may also be made through Dunlap s Sporting Goods 
Company, 138 Carondelet St. 

City Park has a total of 30 tennis courts for day and night playing. 
Reservations must be made in person at the ticket office near the Dumaine 
St. entrance. 

Lakewood Country Club has four courts for the use of members and their 

New Orleans Country Club has seven courts for the use of members and 
their guests. 

The New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club, 4025 Saratoga Street (Freret car 
from Canal and St. Charles Sts.), has enjoyed an uninterrupted existence 

xlvi Recreational Facilities 

since December 15, 1876, the date of its organization. The use of the 
eight courts and a comfortable clubhouse is restricted to a member 
ship of 140. Club tournaments are held regularly, and an annual city- 
wide tournament is played on the courts. 

Trap Shooting 

Jefferson Skeet Club, opposite the Colonial Country Club on Jefferson 
Highway (out S. Claiborne Ave. and US 61), is open on Saturdays and 


Young Men s Christian Association, 2220 Dryades St. (Freret car from 
Canal and St. Charles Sts., or Jackson car from Canal and Baronne Sts. 
to Jackson Ave. ; walk one block uptown) , has recreational facilities includ 
ing an outdoor tennis court, soft-ball diamond and basketball court, 
four pool tables, ping pong table, and tables for bridge, whist, chess, and 
checkers. Guests of members have access, free of charge, to all facilities. 

Young Women s Christian Association, 2436 Canal St. (West End or Ceme 
teries car from any place on Canal St.), permits guests of members to 
have access, free of charge, to all the facilities which include an outdoor 
tennis and volley-ball court, and bridge tables. Tap and ballet dancing, 
along with stunts, form a part of the entertainment on Activity Day 
every Thursday from 5.30 to 9. 


Autocrat Social and Pleasure Club, 1725 St. Bernard Ave. (St. Bernard 
bus from Canal and Burgundy Sts.). Three pool tables; available to 
members and their guests only. 

Pelican Billiard Hall, 303 S. Rampart St. Eight pool tables. 

Y.M.C.A., 2220 Dryades St. Four pool tables; available to members 
and their guests only. 


San Jacinto Club, 1422 Dumaine St. (City Park car from Canal and 
Bourbon Sts.). Gym (facilities for calisthenics and boxing) for members 
and their guests only. 


Lake Pontchartrain. The section of the sea wall reserved for Negroes is 
located a short distance west of Shushan Airport. 

Thorny Lafon Pool, Sixth and S. Robertson Sts. (Freret car from Canal 
and St. Charles to Sixth St.; walk one block right), measuring 60 X 30 
feet and graduating in depth from four to seven feet, is an outdoor pool 
open from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. Admission for night and Sunday swimming 
is lO^f; free during the day. 

Recreational Facilities xlvii 

Y.M.C.A. Two courts available to members and their guests. 


US 90 traverses the tidal pass and lake districts along the Louisville and 
Nashville Railroad from New Orleans to Pearl River, a favorite hunting 
and fishing area close to New Orleans. At Chef Menteur, Lake St. 
Catherine, and Rigolets there are ample accommodations. Both black 
bass and salt-water fish are found at all these points. Duck and snipe 
shooting is usually good. 

A popular hunting trip out of New Orleans is to the State shooting 
grounds at Pass-a-Loutre in the delta of the Mississippi River, an excel 
lent duck-shooting locality. Reservations and necessary information may 
be secured at the office of the Department of Conservation, New Orleans 
Court Building, Chartres and Conti Sts. Mallard, canvasback, pin-tailed, 
and other choice ducks abound in the thousands of acres set aside here 
partly as a public shooting grounds and partly as a bird refuge. 

La 1 and 31 lead to the hunting and fishing territory of St. Bernard 
Parish and the upper and central parts of Plaquemines Parish. Some of 
the more important points are Reggio, Yscloskey, Delacroix Island, 
Pointe-a-la-Hache, and Buras. Duck and snipe are generally plentiful 
throughout this territory in the hunting season. 

Down Bayou Barataria (cross on the Napoleon Ave. Ferry to Marrero 
and follow La 30), one has the choice of many waterways and great 
expanses of swamp and marsh, where snipe, duck, and deer hunting are 
dependable. Beyond lie Little Lake, the lower Barataria Country, and 
Grand Isle, all excellent hunting and fishing grounds. A tarpon rodeo is 
held every summer at Grand Isle. There are not many public camps in 
this district, but the facilities of numerous clubs are available to visitors, 
who can secure common tackle and ammunition from stores at Barataria 
or Lafitte. Guides, boats, and bait are also obtainable. There are hotels 
at Grand Isle. 

West of New Orleans on US 90 is Lockport, convenient base for hunt 
ing on lower Bayou Lafourche, including duck grounds about Larose, 
Cut-Off, Cher Ami, and Golden Meadow. A little farther west, out of 
Houma, waters and marshes affording some of the best hunting and fish 
ing in Louisiana are accessible. At Wonder Lake the black bass fishing 
is exceptionally fine. 

The Bonnet Carre Spillway area, 32 miles up the Mississippi River from 
New Orleans, is a fishing preserve, under control of a club that leases 
the area from the Government. The spillway tract extends from the 
Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain and includes good spots for bass, 
good rabbit country, and some snipe grounds near the lakeshore. 

xlviii Recreational Facilities 

Between New Orleans and Hammond is a great deer-hunting district 
near Pass Manchac, Lake Maurepas, and the lower Amite River. There 
are also fine fishing grounds for bass and other species in this territory. 
Bears are encountered occasionally in the Lake Maurepas region and 
sometimes wild hogs furnish an exciting form of sport. 

For some kinds of fresh-water fishing and for quail and turkey hunting 
it is necessary to go north and northwest of New Orleans. Bogalusa, 
Covington, Pontchatoula, Hammond, Baton Rouge, and New Roads 
are good bases for anyone interested in sport with inland types of game 
and fish. The quail shooting in the Feliciana Parishes is especially good, 
and some of the best woodcock and wild turkey shooting in the Florida 
Parishes is available in this area. 


Baseball is played every Sunday afternoon by a number of semi-profes 
sional and amateur teams at the following parks: Hi-Way Park, 3800 
Jefferson Highway (out S. Claiborne Ave. and US 61) ; Holy Cross Park, 
4900 Dauphine St. (St. Claude car from N. Rampart and Canal Sts.); 
Lincoln Park, S. Broad and Clio Sts. (West End or Cemeteries car, any 
place on Canal St. transfer to southbound Gentilly-Broad bus at 
Broad St.); Warren Easton Park, Hagan Ave. and Bienville St. (West 
End or Cemeteries car, any place on Canal St. to Jefferson Davis Park 
way; walk two blocks downtown). College, high school, and other ama 
teur teams of the city play on diamonds throughout New Orleans. 

Basketball games are played, in season, by Dillard University (Negro), 
Dominican College (female), Loyola University, Tulane University, 
Ursuline College (female), Xavier University (Negro), and the high 
school and private preparatory schools. During the Mid- Winter Sports 
Carnival a basketball game is staged between two outstanding teams. 

Boxing contests are staged under the auspices of the Southern Amateur 
Athletic Union at various times at the New Orleans Athletic Club, 222 N. 
Rampart St., the Kingsley House, 1600 Constance St. (Magazine car 
from Canal and Magazine to Felicity St.; one block toward river), and 
the Knights of Columbus, 836 Carondelet St. Annual (Southern Amateur 
Athletic Union) championships are held at the Coliseum, 401 N. Roman 
St. (West End or Cemeteries car from any place on Canal St.; walk 
four blocks downtown). Tulane University s team engages other teams 
of the Southeastern Conference at the gymnasium (Freret car from 
Canal and St. Charles Sts. to Tulane Campus). Negro matches are held 
irregularly at the St. Joan of Arc School, Cambronne and Freret Sts. 
(St. Charles car from Canal and Baronne Sts. to S. Carrollton and 
Freret; walk three blocks uptown), and the San Jacinto Club, 1422 
Dumaine St. (City Park car from Canal and Bourbon Sts. to Marais 
St.). A boxing tournament between city teams is conducted under the 
auspices of the Mid- Winter Sports Association. 

Recreational Facilities xlix 

Football games of national importance are played by Tulane and Loyola 
Universities with Southern and intersectional teams. The Tulane Stadium 
is located at Willow and Calhoun Sts. (Freret car from Canal and St. 
Charles St. to Calhoun; walk four blocks north), and the Loyola Stadium 
at Freret and Calhoun Sts. (Freret car at Canal and St. Charles Sts.). 
The annual Sugar Bowl game is played at the former on New Year s Day. 
High schools and preparatory schools usually play at the above-men 
tioned stadia in addition to the old Tulane stadium and prep field 
located in the intervening area, and at the new Municipal stadium built 
under the Works Progress Administration in City Park. Dillard and 
Xavier Universities (Negro schools) also play football at Dillard Uni 
versity, Gentilly Road (Gentilly car from Canal and Bourbon Sts.), 
and Xavier University, Washington and Pine Sts. (Tulane car from any 
place on Canal between the river and Loyola St. to Washington; walk 
three blocks right) . 

Golf tournaments, the Men s City Open and the Women s City Tourna 
ment (the latter for club members only) are held annually at various 
courses in the city (see under Golf, above, for location of links). Admis 
sion is free. Tulane University s golf team engages other universities in 
dual matches. An intercollegiate tournament is held during the Mid- 
Winter Sports Carnival. 

Polo is played at Jackson Barracks, St. Claude Ave. and the St. Bernard 
Parish line (St. Claude car at N. Rampart and Canal Sts.), every Wednes 
day, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon between three local teams. Admis 
sion is free, except for charity games played with out-of-town teams, 
for which the charge is usually 50f. Ample parking space is afforded 
along both sides of the playing field. 

Tennis matches, the City Tournament (held at various courts) and the 
New Orleans Public Park Tournament (held at City Park) are staged 
annually. Admission to the former is free, but charges are usually made 
for the finals of the Public Park matches (see under Tennis, above, for 
location of courts) . The tournament conducted at the close of every year 
under the auspices of the Mid-W T inter Sports Association attracts many 
of the Nation s ranking stars. Tulane, Loyola, Dillard (Negro), Xavier 
(Negro), and Dominican College (female) also play tennis. 

Track and Field meets are held at Loyola and Tulane stadia. The most 
outstanding meet is held annually in conjunction with the Sugar Bowl 
game. World and national champions participate. Each year on the 
Saturday closest Jackson Day (January 8) leading cross-country men 
from the city and vicinity run over a course (Spanish Fort to the Cabildo) 
which in December, 1814, was the route taken by the garrison of Spanish 
Fort as it ran to join Jackson s forces leaving for the Chalmette front. 
Dillard (Negro), Xavier (Negro), and Dominican College (female) also 
engage in track and field meets. 

Yacht races are held Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons, 
weather permitting, under the auspices of the Southern Yacht Club. 

1 Recreational Facilities 

Schooners, 2i-footers, star class, knockabouts, fish class, auxiliary knock 
abouts, Gulf one-designs, and yawls engage in races over a six-mile and 
a seven-and-a-half-mile triangular course. Long-distance races to Biloxi 
and the Chefuncte River are held every year. 



Heinemann Park, Carrollton and Tulane Ave. (Tulane car from any 
place on Canal St. between Loyola and the river), is the home of the 
1 Pelicans, New Orleans representative in the Southern Association. 
Both night and day games are held. The seating capacity is 9500, with 
2000 additional temporary seats available for the Dixie Series. The 
Cleveland Indians, who farm players with the local team, train at 
the park each spring. 

The Crescent Stars, the New Orleans Black Pelicans, and the Algiers 
Giants (Negro teams) play irregularly at Crescent Star Park, Dorgenois 
and St. Anthony Sts. (Frenchmen bus from Canal and Chartres Sts. to 
Dorgenois; walk three blocks uptown), Lincoln Park, S. Broad and Clio 
Sts. (West End or Cemeteries car, any place on Canal St., transfer to 
southbound Gentilly-Broad bus at Broad St.), and Heinemann Park. 


Coliseum Arena, 401 N. Roman St. (West End or Cemeteries car, any 
place on Canal St. to Roman; walk three blocks downtown). Five pre 
liminaries of four rounds each and a main bout of ten rounds usually 
make up the card. White and colored are admitted. Seating capacity is 


Cockfights are held on Sundays from October to July at one or the other 
of the following pits: Bisso and Mills Pit, South Kenner, located about 
1 8 miles above the city on the west bank of the river (US 61 from Canal 
St. and S. Claiborne Ave.; cross Huey P. Long Bridge (toll-free) and 
turn right on US 90) ; Four Horsemen Pit, located in St. Bernard Parish 
below Menefee Airport (State Highway 1 from Canal and N. Rampart 

S hall s Pit, ShalPs Dairy Farm, is situated two miles east of Kenner 
(State Highway 1 Jefferson Highway from Canal St., and S. Clai 
borne Ave.). 


Fair Grounds, main gate, Sauvage and For tin Sts. (Esplanade bus from 
Burgundy and Canal Sts. to Lopez; shuttle bus to entrance), offers 
approximately 100 days of racing beginning on Thanksgiving Day each 

Recreational Facilities 

year. Seven races are held daily starting at 2.30; Daily Double, second 
and third races, Quinella, last race. The certificate system of betting, 
much the same as pari-mutuel is in effect. The glass-enclosed, steam- 
heated grandstand has a seating capacity of about 6000. Several $1000 
handicaps are held each year, with the Louisiana Derby ($6000 purse) 
the feature race. White and colored are admitted. 

South Kenner Park (see Cockfighting above for directions) offers racing 
on its half-mile track on Sundays and holidays, the season extending 
from April to November. A bus, leaving from Canal and Saratoga Streets 
at 1 P.M., makes a round trip (25f) to the track; taxis, leaving from 
Canal and Rampart Sts., offer round trips for 50^. The eight-race pro 
gram starts at 2.15 P.M. Book-making, or oral betting, is in practice 
with a quinella offered in the last race. 

St. Bernard Kennel Club, St. Bernard Parish, 5.3 m. from Canal and 
Rampart Sts. (St. Claude car from Canal and Rampart; transfer to St. 
Claude bus; taxi $1), stages ten dog races nightly on its quarter- mile 
track. The season extends from late spring to fall. Seating capacity is 
about 1200; the pari-mutuel system of betting is used. 


Coliseum Arena (see Boxing} stages wrestling matches every Thursday 
evening at 8.30 P.M. Three bouts are usually held. The first event is a 
half hour, one-fall match, and the others are one and two hour bouts, 
best-two-out-of-three falls. White and colored are admitted. 


EATING and drinking rank as fine arts in New Orleans and the traveler 
finds the flavor of the past kept vitally alive in its restaurants. Year after 
year the older institutions go on, in the same buildings and the same 
atmosphere, serving the famous Creole dishes in undiminished excellence; 
and even the newer restaurants conform to the tradition of good food 
and service. 

New Orleans Creole cuisine, evolved many years ago, had as its basis 
French delicacy piquantly modified by the Spaniard s love of pungent 
seasoning, the Indian s use of native herbs, and the Negro s ability to 
mix and bake. Into its evolution, too, went a singularly abundant and 
diverse food supply, with not only a wide variety of fish, game, and 
vegetables at the very door and exotic products available from the near 
by tropics, but a steady flow of delicacies imported from the old country. 
A traveler to New Orleans in 1803 commented on the astonishing import 
of luxuries, out of keeping with so small and new a place: Malaga, 
Bordeaux, Madeira, olive oil (a most important article of consumption), 
brandied fruits, liqueurs, vinegars, sausages, anchovies, almonds, raisins, 
prunes, cheese, vermicelli. 

New Orleans restaurateurs still scour far countries for certain important 
ingredients of their dishes; and, although game, long the piece de re 
sistance of restaurant cuisine, has been made contraband by recent laws, 
and many of the flavorous old herbs have disappeared, much remains. 
The Gulf pompano, which Mark Twain called delicious as the less 
criminal forms of sin ; the sheepshead, a fish almost equally as popular; 
redfish, red snapper, oysters, shrimp, crabs, crawfish, and frog legs; 
chicken or poulet, cooked in a hundred different ways, each one better 
than the last; avocados, burr artichokes, fresh pineapple, fresh mush 
rooms, and fresh asparagus these are only a few of the products 
available to local chefs today as in the past. 

New Orleans, having taken the trouble to concoct its delicious, many- 
tasting foods, may raise a quizzical eyebrow at the occasional spinach 


and lettuce-leaf devotee who happens along, but to the appreciative 
gourmet she extends a joyous welcome. This spirit of gracious catering, 
found alike in the noted restaurants and in many of the humblest, is a 
sort of noblesse oblige deriving from the fine tradition of the past; for the 
city boasts of a long line of distinguished old hostelries. 

The first restaurateurs were largely Spaniards, who laid small emphasis 
on food and featured rather delectable drinks, Spanish music, and Spanish 
dancing. Fashionable Creole gentlemen, when they foregathered to sip 
their wines and discuss the price of indigo, the imminent duel, or the 
latest news from Europe, preferred, however, the quieter and more 
elegant cafes: Maspero s, Hewlitt s, or John Davis s. If a man required 
good, solid food and was unfortunate enough not to be able to eat at 
home the prevailing practice there was only the Restaurant d Or- 
leans, the exclusive Le Veau Qui Tete, and the somew r hat rowdy Hotel de 
la Marine, haunt of the Lafitte pirates and other colorful characters. 

With the period of phenomenal wealth which began about 1830, the 
habit of dining out really began. Many brilliant banquets were given 
under the frescoed dome of the old St. Louis Hotel, or at the St. Charles, 
whose famous gold service was brought out on state occasions. Suppers 
and after- the- theater parties took place at those rival city restaurants, 
Moreau s and Victor s, who vied in the excellence of their dishes and 
the distinction of their guests. And the Gem sprang into fame with its 
fabulous free lunches. 

But it was at the suburban inns that the most skillful chefs presided 
and memorable feasts occurred. At Carrollton Gardens, near the levee 
where today the St. Charles street-car turns into Carrollton Avenue, 
inviting meals were served on the broad verandas of the hotel overlooking 
the grounds, with their summer houses and pagodas, their jasmines and 
honeysuckle vines. The lake end restaurants at Milneburg, Spanish 
Fort, and West End were popular. These were quaint wooden buildings 
with large rooms and many porches, set on piles over the lake, with well- 
tended parks and flower gardens in front. It was at Milneburg, and 
under the supervision of the noted chef Boudro, that a dinner was 
tendered in 1856 to Thackeray. At that comfortable tavern on Pont- 
chartrain, Thackeray commented afterward, we had a bouillabaisse 
than which a better was never eaten at Marseilles and not the least 
headache in the morning, I give you my word. 

At a later date, came Leon s/ a resort of both high-class gamblers and 
fastidious epicures; the unique market restaurants, Begue s, Maylie s, 
Tuj ague s; and the innumerable little French restaurants, with names 
like Les Quatres Saisons (The Four Seasons), Le Pelerin (The Pilgrim), 
etc., of which Lafcadio Hearn said, Each one, like those of Paris, has 
some particular specialty, and the chicken, shrimps, mushrooms, and 
wines are universally excellent. 

Today, the restaurants are largely French and Italian, but it is also 
possible to get good German and Mexican food. 

Restaurants Iv 

French Restaurants 

Antoine s, 713 St. Louis St., proprietor, Roy^ Alciatore, open 11 A.M. to 
10.30 P.M. Make reservations in advance. Ala carte service only, with 
minimum charge of $1 per person. Private rooms for dining and for 
banquets. A representative meal can be had from $3 to $3.50 per person. 

This old restaurant, with its tall, gabled roof, wrought-iron balconies, 
and mellow lighting, possesses an air of quiet distinction. Almost a hun 
dred years old, it has become widely known both here and abroad for the 
perfection of its cuisine. 

Antoine Alciatore, founder of the restaurant, was born in Marseilles, 
Fiance, and had already acquired skill as a chef before coming to New 
Orleans in 1840. By 1876, with his establishment in the present building, 
he was ranked as a leading restaurateur. 

The interior of the restaurant is quaintly old-fashioned, and is both 
lighted and heated from antique gas chandeliers in the ceiling. No jazz 
music breaks on the diner s ears; as one of its proprietors was wont to 
insist: The aroma of good food and the tinkle of wine glasses is music 

What to eat at Antoine s? There is so much that is excellent one be 
comes slightly confused, as did Will Rogers: Why, listen, they got a soup 
they herded around in front of me that was crawfish boiled in white 
wine and aromatic herbs. Why, they got tortoise-shell terrapin that is 
served in its own shell. Omelette souflee historiee! Say, they make all 
of them out of golden pheasants eggs. The two dishes invented by the 
restaurant which have won greatest fame are the huitres en coquille a la 
Rockefeller (oysters Rockefeller) and pompano en papillate (pompano 
cooked in a paper bag with a particularly luscious sauce); no other 
restaurant has been quite able to equal them on these dishes. Antoine s 
is also noted for its bisque d ecremsses a la cardinal (crayfish bisque), 
poulet chanteclair (chicken marinated in red wine before cooking), and 
omelette soufflee, a superb dessert. 

Antoine s mystery room (so called because of a famous picture which 
originally hung there) is a most popular place for intimate dinners, and on 
its walls are testimonials from prominent guests. There one will find 
Calvin Coolidge s laconic With appreciation and Taft s flourishing 
signature. But perhaps Irvin S. Cobb s comment is the most character 
istic: Once upon a time, being seduced by certain poetic words of 
Thackeray, I made a special trip to a certain cafe in Paris to eat bouil 
labaisse. I found it distinctly worth while. Later I went to Marseilles, 
the home of this dish, and there ate it again and found it better. And 
then I came back to America and ate it at Antoine s in New Orleans and 
found it best of all. 

Arnaud s, 813 Bienville St.; proprietor, Arnaud Cazenave; open 9 A.M. 
to 12.30 A.M. Table d hote lunch, 10.30 A.M. to 3 P.M., 50jj to 75ff, de 
pending on entree; there is also a lunch consisting of appetizer or soup, 
dessert or coffee, for 30j. Table d hote dinner, 4.30 to 11 P.M., 75f to 
$1.25, depending on entree. French specialties a la carte. 

Ivi Restaurants 

Arnaud s was established as late as 1921, but has been a leading 
restaurant almost from the beginning. Arnaud himself is a very popular 

The restaurant employs a large staff of cooks and waiters, ready to 
serve, on short notice, almost any French or Creole dish, with perhaps 
slightly more emphasis on French cooking than Creole. Among its 
specialties are shrimps Arnaud, filet de truite Amandine, breast of turkey 
en papillate, oyster Whitney, langouste Sarah Bernhardt, stuffed crab 
Rejane, and crepe suzette Arnaud. 

Begue s, 504 Madison St.; proprietor, Katie Laporte. Hours: breakfast, 
11 A.M. to 3 P.M., $1 to $1.25. Begue s, a market restaurant located 
originally at 207 Decatur Street, lives today chiefly in its past. This 
restaurant, flourishing in the gay nineties and the favorite haunt of 
Eugene Field on his New Orleans visits, was famous for its Bohemian 
breakfasts, six-course affairs lasting from 11 o clock to 2 or 3 P.M. Its 
specialties were kidney stew with red wine and calf s liver a la bourgeoise. 
The present restaurant is situated upstairs over a corner garage in the 
rooms where Hypolite Begue had his latter-day restaurant. 

Broussard s, 819 Conti St.; proprietor, Joseph Broussard; open 9 A.M. 
to 10.30 P.M. (later, if necessary). Creole breakfast, 9 to 11 A.M., 75fi; 
table d hote lunch, 11.30 A.M. to 2 P.M., 50^ to 75jf, depending on entree; 
table d hote dinner, 5.30 to 10 P.M.; seafood dinner, $1; chicken dinner, 
$1.25; steak dinner, $1.50. Banquet room and rooms for private dinners. 
Reservations should be made for a party. 

Broussard s Restaurant is a small plain building, with no attempt at 
ornamentation beyond a few tavern lights in front. When the weather 
permits, guests usually prefer to dine in the courtyard, a large, narrow 
strip, part of a fine old garden, with shrubbery and bright flowers lining 
the walls. Roses, calla lilies, violets, chrysanthemums, and hibiscus bloom 
here as late as December. 

The forte of this restaurant is preparing little dinners for special 
parties. Some of the dishes from which the place has made its reputation 
are chicken papillate, oysters a la Broussard, and the Broussard Surprise, 
a dessert resembling crepe suzette. 

Commander s Palace, 1403 Washington Ave.; manager, Felix Tranchina. 
Hours: 10 A.M. to 12 midnight. Private dining-booths; reservations not 
necessary. One item that it claims as an exclusive dish is soft-shell 
turtle ragout, which is obtainable during the warm months. 

Galatoire s, 209 Bourbon St.; proprietors, Gabriel, Leon, and Justin 
Galatoire. Hours: 8 A.M. to 10.30 P.M.; merchants lunch, 11 A.M. to 
2 P.M., 60^f; table d hote dinner, 5 to 8 P.M., $1; with small bottle of wine, 
$1.25. Reservations should be made for dinner parties; private dining- 
rooms available. 

Galatoire s excels in its Marguery sauce, served usually with filet de 
truite. The crab meat here is all hand-picked, and all of the crab dishes 
are delicious, particularly crab meat au gratin. Dinkelspiel salad is a meal 
in itself, its base being crab meat, surrounded by many tempting hors 
d oeuvres. 

Restaurants Ivii 

Lucien Gaye s, 603 Royal St.; proprietor, Lucien Gaye. Hours: 7 A.M. 
to 10 P.M. Lucien Gaye s is a French restaurant of the bourgeois type, 
where good, plain French food is obtainable. 

La Louisiane, 725 Iberville St. ; proprietor, Mrs. Omar Cheer. Hours: 
8 A.M. to 10 P.M.; table d hote lunch, 11-2, 75^f; table d hote dinner, 
5.30-8, $1. Private dining-rooms, ballrooms, banquet rooms; make 
reservations for dinner party, banquet, or ball. 

La Restaurant de la Louisiane, established in 1881 by Louis Bezaudin, 
has been the scene of many brilliant social affairs. The restaurant occupies 
one of the most interesting and beautiful buildings of New Orleans, the 
former mansion of the merchant prince Zacharie. It is a three-story 
structure, with white facade and green shutters; balconies, edged with 
handsome ironwork, jut over the arched entrance and windows beneath. 
Inside, there is a succession of spacious rooms, with mirrored walls, 
crystal chandeliers, brocade draperies, and softly carpeted floors. 

Under the management of Fernand Alciatore, the French cuisine was 
brought to a rare perfection that attracted guests from far and near. 
La Louisiane s guest-books are full of the names of people famous in the 
early years of the twentieth century. 

Some of the dishes featured by the restaurant are bisque ecrevisse 
Louisiane, canape crab Louisiane, redfish courtbouillon, turkey Ro- 
chambeau, filet de truite marguery, and baked Alaska. 
Maylie s, 1001 Poydras St.; proprietor, W. H. Maylie. Hours: 11 A.M. 
to 9 P.M.; table d hote lunch, 11-2, 50^; table d hote dinner, 5.30-9, $1; 
open Sunday for dinner only, 5.30-9. Make reservations for party. 

Maylie s Restaurant, in the neighborhood of the old Poydras Market, 
was established in 1878 as an informal market restaurant. Later, when 
it became noted for the excellent quality of its food, it was conducted 
on a strictly stag basis. Its patrons are still mostly men, many of them 
prominent in business circles, who go out of their way to enjoy what 
Maylie s offers them in the way of both food and relaxation. The two 
dishes by which the house is best known are the bouilli (boiled beef) and 
hardshell crab stew. Wine is included with both lunch and dinner. 

Rising out of a boxed space within a small central hallway of the 
restaurant, and extending through the roof, is a wistaria vine sixty-five 
years old. The stem of this vine is as large as an ordinary tree trunk, 
and the foliage grows both inside and outside of the building. 
Tujague s, 823 Decatur St.; proprietor, John Castet. Hours: 6 A.M. to 
9.30 P.M.; table d hote breakfast, 10-2.30, 50ff; table d hote dinner, 
5-8.30, 60^f; make reservation for private parties. 

This restaurant, established about 1880 and located near the French 
Market, retains some of the characteristics of the old-fashioned market 
restaurants. Marketmen are still served here in a special room in the 
back. The food, though usually plain French fare, is very appetizing. 
Vieux Carre, 241 Bourbon St.; proprietor, P. Lacoste. Hours: 10 A.M. to 
10 P.M.; table d hote luncheon, 10-3, 50ff; table d hote dinner, 3-10, 
This is one of the best of the small restaurants of New Orleans. 

Iviii Restaurants 

Though it has no noted specialties, it serves an excellent type of French 
cooking. The restaurant is quiet and conservative, both in its appearance 
and clientele. 

German Restaurants 
Kolb s, 125 St. Charles St.; proprietor, Conrad Kolb. Hours 7 A.M. to 

I A.M. for a la carte service; breakfast and luncheon a la carte; table 
d hote dinner, 5 to 9 P.M., grill 85^ to $1.25; dining-room, $1 to $1.50. 
Private dining-rooms and banquet rooms; make reservations for parties. 

Kolb s, though serving a great variety of dishes, is the only restaurant 
in New Orleans that makes a specialty of German food. The interior of 
the main dining-room at Kolb s is a very interesting reproduction of some 
of the features of a German tavern, while on one side is a Dutch Room 
with fireplaces and chimneys. 

The food in general is excellent and the surroundings are very pleasant. 
Among the German dishes the proprietor recommends the following: 
wiener schnitzel with vegetables, German pot roast with potato pancake, 
stewed goose with dumplings, pig knuckles with sauerkraut, and home 
made pork sausage with red cabbage. 

At night a Tyrolean orchestra in costume plays wine and beer classics, 
and both orchestra and guests join in singing old folk songs. 

Italian Restaurants 

Masera s, 807 St. Louis St.; proprietor, Joseph Masera. Open 9 A.M. to 
12 midnight, a la carte orders. Table d hote dinner, 5 to midnight, $1. 
Masera s was established toward the beginning of the present century, 
and is well known for its Italian specialties. 

B. Montalbano, 724 St. Philip St.; proprietor, B. Montalbano. Open 10 
A.M. to 10 P.M.; table d hote, 65^ up to 6 P.M.; 75^ from 6 to 10 P.M.; 
make reservations for a party, as seating capacity is very limited. 

This establishment is a unique mixture of delicatessen shop, religious 
shrine, and restaurant. 

The Roma Room, where meals are served, has been blessed by Pope 
Pius XI. Here has been constructed an improvised altar, with a copy 
of the Vatican at the top, and in the corners on either side small votary 
candles are kept burning continuously. Colored prints of religious pic 
tures from Rome are inset into the wall by means of gay-colored strips 
of oilcloth. The ceiling is decorated with Christmas-tree trimmings of 
colored balls and tinsel. In these Italian peasant surroundings, there 
has been placed a long table with room for about a dozen guests. The 
usual dinner is chicken ravioli or spaghetti and chicken, with an elaborate 
dish of Italian antipasto. 
Turd s Italian Gardens, 223 Bourbon St. ; proprietor, Ettore Turci. Open 

II A.M. to 11 P.M. for a la carte orders. Table d hote dinner, 5.30 to 
9 P.M., 80^f. 

Turci s is one of the leading Italian restaurants in New Orleans. It 
was established by Signer and Signora Turci, opera singers from Northern 

Restaurants lix 

Italy, who toured the United States with various companies before 
settling down to the restaurant business. As a consequence, Turci s has 
always been the favorite haunt of visiting opera singers. The restaurant 
serves home-made ravioli, home-made noodles, and various kinds of 
Italian spaghetti. 

The following Italian restaurants are also well known for their Italian 
food and seafood specialties: Tortorich Restaurant, 441 Royal St.; Gen- 
tilich Caterers, 900 Rampart St., situated across from the Municipal 
Auditorium and patronized by after- theater parties; and the uptown 
places: S. Dominici, 3633 Prytania St.; Manale s Restaurant, 1838 
Napoleon Ave.; Zibilich Restaurant, 3750 S. Claiborne Ave.; Tranchina s, 
2505 Carondelet St.; and Delmonico s, 1300 St. Charles Ave. 

In connection with the Italian restaurants, it is interesting to note that 
Ursuline St., between Royal and Chartres, is commonly called Spumone 
Block from the number of little confectionery shops established there 
which serve Italian ices (spumone, cassata, alkeno, and sciallotti) and 
cakes (cannola, etc.). 

Mexican Restaurants 

La Lune, 800 Bourbon St. Open 9 P.M. to 6 A.M. The Mexican food at 
La Lune is excellent and reasonably priced. 

Tea Rooms and Restaurants 

Court of the Two Sisters, 615 Royal St.; proprietor, Jimmie Cooper. 
Open Sundays and weekdays. Lunch, 12 to 2.30, 50^; dinner, 5 to 10.30, 
60f to $1. 

The Court of the Two Sisters possesses an interesting background. 
The courtyard, originally one of the finest in New Orleans, is quite 
large, and still attractive with its old willow and fig trees. It is a favorite 
spot for dining in the summer. Seafood dinners and chicken dinners 
are featured. 

Courtyard Kitchen, 820 St. Louis St.; proprietor, Mrs. J. P. Burton. 
Open weekdays only. Lunch, 12 to 2.30, 85?f; tea, 2.30 to 5, 25^ up. 
Breakfast a la carte may be obtained from 8 to 12. Special party break 
fast by arrangement, particularly on Sundays. Make reservations for 

The Courtyard Kitchen is so called from the fact that it is in the out- 
of-door kitchen of a former home. The dining-room is furnished as an 
ante-bellum kitchen and during the winter months log fires are kept 
burning in its huge fireplace. On sunshiny days tables are set for luncheon 
and tea in the courtyard, one of the most beautiful in New Orleans. 

This establishment is noted for gumbo, stuffed crabs, Southern style 
chicken, hot biscuit, home-made cakes, and desserts. Colored maids 
dressed as mammies serve the food. 

Green Shutter Tea Room, 710 St. Peter St.; proprietor, Miss Celeste 
Eshleman. Open weekdays only, from October 1 to June 1, 9 A.M. to 
5 P.M. Lunch, 12 to 2 P.M., 45^ to 75ff; tea, 2 to 5 P.M., 25^ up. Sun- 

Ix Restaurants 

day breakfast served at 12 o clock, by reservation. For minimum party 
of thirty, $1 each. 

The Green Shutter is housed in a quaint old Spanish home, with low, 
sloping roof and heavy green shutters on windows and doors. The 
uneven brick floor, wooden beams, and plastered walls of the main dining- 
room remain exactly as when this house was built. Featured dishes are 
Creole gumbo, jambalaya, grillades with yellow grits, and waffles with 
sausage and bacon. 

Patio Royal, 417 Royal St.; proprietor, Mrs. Jeanne Castellanos. Open 
weekdays; lunch, 11.30 A.M. to 3 P.M., 75^ to $1; dinner, 5 to 9 P.M., $1; 
Sunday night supper dances, 8 P.M. to 12, $1.50. Bar open from 10 A.M. 
to 9 P.M. 

Patio Royal, located in the old Paul Morphy Home, has many beautiful 
and striking features. The Spanish Room is furnished with treasures 
from abroad rugs from Algeria, tapestry and brass from Morocco, 
torcheres from Granada, lamps from Seville, and red straw-bottomed 
chairs from Paris. Two lovely wrought-iron gates swing under the 
arches separating the Spanish Room from the dining-room proper. 
The porte-cochere entrance leads from the dining-room into a passage 
way, embellished with large stone jars, to an attractive courtyard in the 

The Patio is very popular for luncheon parties and dinner dances. 
Private rooms available for parties. Make reservations for parties only. 

The Southern Marigold, 619 Royal St.; proprietor, Mrs. Mary B. Baldwin. 
Open weekdays only, December 1 to April 1. Luncheon, 12 to 2.30, $1; 
dinner, 6 to 8, $1.50. 

This place is unique in New Orleans, in that absolutely no French or 
Creole dishes are served. Instead there is the best of Southern cooking. 
Mrs. Baldwin is also proprietor of a very successful restaurant at Niagara 

Hotel Restaurants 

Jung Hotel (Florentine Room), 1500 Canal St.; manager, Arthur Land- 
street. Open 8 A.M. to 9 P.M.; a la carte service all day; table d hote 
lunch, 12 to 1.30 P.M., 75ff; table d hote dinner, 6 to 9 P.M., $1. 

Monteleone Hotel, 214 Royal St.; maitre d hotel, Rene Cazaubon. Open 
6 A.M. to 12 midnight for a la carte service; lunch, table d hote for busi 
ness men, 11 to 2 P.M., 40?f to 50^ (lunch is not served table d hote 
on Sunday); dinner, table d hote, 5 to 9 P.M., 75f to $1. 

Roosevelt Hotel (Fountain Room), 123 Baronne St.; manager, Lou Lemler. 
Open 6 A.M. to 12 midnight for a la carte service; table d hote lunch, 
12 to 2 P.M., 45# to 90j; table d hote dinner, 5 to 9.30 P.M., 85^ to $1.50; 
club breakfast, 6 A.M. to 12 noon, 30^ to 75ff. 

Music for dinner dancing from 6 to 9.30 P.M. is furnished by ranking 
orchestras from large metropolitan cities. For the luncheon period 
there is a local orchestra. 

Restaurants Ixi 

St. Charles Hotel, 211 St. Charles St.; manager, H. O. Guion. Open 
6 A.M. to 12 midnight; breakfast, 6 to 11 A.M., 35^ to 90?; table d hote 
lunch, 11 A.M. to 2 P.M., 45 to 80& table d hote dinner, 5 to 8.30 P.M., 
8fy to $1.50. 

Store Restaurants (not open on Sundays) 

D. H. Holmes, 819 Canal St.; manager, M. J. Briant. Open 7 A.M. to 
9 P.M.; lunch, 11 A.M. to 2 P.M., 50^, 60jf, and 75ff; dinner, 5 to 9 P.M., 

Maison Blanche (The Rendezvous), 901 Canal St.; manager, W. H. 
Renaker. Open 9 A.M. to 6 P.M., a la carte; club breakfast, 9 to 10.30 A.M., 
15f< to 35ff; lunch, 10.30 A.M. to 3 P.M., 25^ to 65ff. 

Solaris, 201 Royal St.; manager, Mrs. O. M. Harshman. Open 7.30 A.M. 
to 6.30 P.M.; breakfast, 7.30 to 11 A.M., 10^ to 50^; lunch, 11 A.M. to 
3 P.M., 45^ to 65ff; a la carte service all day. 

Miscellaneous Restaurants 

French Market Co fee Stands, Decatur and St. Ann, and Decatur and 
St. Philip Sts. Open day and night, except from 12 noon to 4 P.M. 
Delicious coffee and doughnuts, 10?L 

Cluck s, 124 Royal St.; manager, Henry A. Gluck. Open day and night. 
Special lunch, 45ff; special dinner, 65f and 75ff; special plates, 25f to 40ff. 

Martin Brothers, 2004 St. Claude Ave.; proprietor, Benny Martin. Open 
day and night. Prices: poorboy sandwich, whole loaf, 25^f, half loaf, 15f, 
one third loaf, 10^, quarter loaf, 5^f; special plate lunch, 20^ and 25^; 
special supper (plate), 20^; Sunday chicken dinner, 25ff. 

St. Regis, 121 Royal St.; proprietor, Gaston Bertoniere. Open 6 A.M. to 
12 midnight for a la carte orders; table d hote lunch, 11 A.M. to 5 P.M., 
45j; table d hote dinner, 5 P.M. to 12 midnight, 65^f. 

Thompson s, 133 St. Charles St.; manager, W. H. Dodds. Open day and 
night; lunch starts at 10.30 A.M.; dinner at 4.30 P.M. 


(While some of the New Orleans cafeterias feature American food, most 
of them also serve Creole dishes.) 

Holsum s, 718 Gravier St.; manager, W. G. Brown. Breakfast, 7 to 
9.30 A.M.; lunch, 11 A.M. to 2.30 P.M.; dinner, 5 to 8 P.M. 

Morrison s, Masonic Temple, 333 St. Charles St.; manager, G. H. Ptomy. 
Breakfast, 7 to 9.30 A.M.; lunch, 10.45 A.M. to 2.30 P.M.; dinner, 4.45 
to 8 P.M. 

Morrison s, 918 Gravier St.; manager, R. C. McClammy. Lunch, 11 
A.M. to 2.30 P.M.; dinner, 5 to 8 P.M. 

St. Regis, 121 Royal St.; manager, Gaston Bertoniere. Lunch, 11 A.M. 
to 2 P.M.; dinner, 5 to 8 P.M. 



Wise s, 233 Carondelet St.; manager, Herbert Wise. Breakfast, 7 to 10 
A.M.; lunch, 10 A.M. to 2.30 P.M.; dinner, 5 to 8 P.M. Closed all day 

Negro Restaurants 

Astoria, 235 S. Rampart St.; manager, Miss Vera Braden. Open day and 
night; a la carte service at all times; table d hote lunch, 12 to 1.30 P.M., 
lot to 35^f; table d hote dinner, 2 to 6 P.M., 25^ to 40 

Douglas, 1320 Iberville St.; manager, C. Douglas. Open day and night; 
a la carte service at all times; table d hote lunch, 12 to 2 P.M., 15$ to 
25?f; table d hote dinner, 2 to 7 P.M., lo to 2ty. 

National Lunch Room, 501 S. Rampart St.; manager, A. Harris. Open 
from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M.; a la carte service all day; table d hote lunch, 12 
to 2 P.M., lOjzf to 25^; table d hote dinner, 2 to 7 P.M., 15ff to 25. 

Pelican, 301 S. Rampart St.; manager, A. J. Fabacher. Open day and 
night; a la carte service at all times; table d hote lunch, 12 to 1.30 P.M., 
15^ to 35?f; table d hote dinner, 2 to 6 P.M., 20^ to 30 


The abbreviation nfd signifies that the event occurs during the 
month, but has no fixed date. 




Feb. or 





March or 



March or 



March or 












ist Fri. 




















Mid-Winter Sports Carnival. Sugar Bowl football classic 
(New Year s Day), tennis and golf tournaments, bas 
ketball game, yacht regatta, track and field meet, and 
inter-city boxing match. 

Emancipation Day. 

Twelfth Night (King s Day and the official beginning of 
Carnival). During short seasons balls are held before 
King s Day. 

Jackson Day (Battle of New Orleans). 

Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday). Parades start on previous 
Thursday with night parade of Momus; followed on 
Friday night with parade of Hermes; Saturday with 
Nor, children s parade; Proteus Parade on Monday 
night, and Rex and Comus parades on Mardi Gras. 
Zulu King and neighborhood organizations have parades 
in various parts of the city. 

St. Joseph s Day (mi-car erne}. 

Spring Fiesta, second or third week before Easter. 
Flower Show. 

Sunrise Services. Tulane Stadium, 7 A.M. 

Opening of Southern League baseball season. 

Lower Mississippi Valley Musical Festival. Dillard 

Horse Show. 

Louisiana Livestock Show. 

McDonogh Day. Statue in Lafayette Square decorated 
by school children. 

Cooking School. 

Confederate Memorial Day (Jefferson Davis birthday). 

Automobile Show. 

Southern Yacht Club Regatta. 

Governors Yacht Race. New Orleans and Biloxi alter 
nate as host. 

Opening of theater and concert season. 

All Saints Day. Decoration of cemeteries. 

Beginning of racing season. 

Doll and Toy Fund Christmas Tree for poor children. 

Whites on Christmas Eve and Negroes on Christmas 





Geography. Surrounded by swamps and low-lying delta lands, New 
Orleans proper (29 56 North Latitude; 90 84 West Longitude) is an 
urban oasis lying in a dike-enclosed area between the Mississippi River 
and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 miles from the mouth of the river. The city 
and parish boundaries are coterminous, New Orleans being the fourth 
largest city in land area (365 square miles, of which 166 square miles are 
water) in the United States. The boundary is very irregular; its total 
length is 115 miles. On the north lie Lake Pontchartrain and Rigolets 
Pass; on the east, Lake Borgne and St. Bernard Parish; on the south, St. 
Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson Parishes; and on the west, Jefferson 
Parish. The Mississippi forms part of the boundary on the east, south, 
and west. The greatest distance within the city limits is thirty-four and 
a half miles from northeast to southwest; the distance between the river 
and the lake varies between five and eight miles. 

Although the built-up section occupies only a small proportion of this 
large area, the city has expanded to a considerable extent beyond its 
original limits (the present Vieux Carre). Extension has been made both 
upstream and downstream and northward to Lake Pontchartrain; a strip 
of territory (Algiers) on the west bank of the river has also been an 

The popular name, Crescent City/ is derived from the fact that the 
site of the original town was on a sharp bend of the river. 

Topography. The average elevation of the city, which is below the high- 
water levels of both the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, is but 
one foot above mean Gulf level. The highest natural formations in the 
city, about fifteen feet above mean Gulf level, are the strips of land ad- 

New Orleans : The General Background 

jacent to the river, the natural levees which confine the water to the chan 
nel during ordinary and all but the highest stages of the river. 

The greater portion of the city would suffer from floods every year were 
it not for the surrounding artificial levee system. Levees constructed along 
the river and the Pontchartrain lake-front, across the swamps and along 
the waterways are all interconnected, thus enclosing completely the built- 
up section of the city, which is drained by means of canals and pumping 
stations. The levees along the river average about 23 feet and those along 
the lake-front and across the swamps and marshes about nine feet above 
mean Gulf level. Approximately thirty-nine per cent of the total land 
area of New Orleans is enclosed within levees. The unprotected sixty-one 
per cent is the peninsula and lands which lie along Lakes Pontchartrain 
and Borgne and extend northeastward from Micheaud to the Rigolets 
Pass. This area, for the most part subject to overflow by high tides from 
the Gulf, consists of delta fingers, coastal islands and ridges of low eleva 
tion, and intervening coastal marshes. 

There are several navigable waterways within the municipal limits of 
the city, all connecting with Lake Pontchartrain. The New Orleans 
Navigation Canal begins at South Rampart Street at the edge of the busi 
ness district and runs northward, entering the lake near the northwestern 
corner of the city. Farther east, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, 
commonly known as the Industrial Canal, provides a channel five and 
one half miles long, with a depth of thirty feet and a width of three hun 
dred feet, connecting the river and the lake. Bayou St. John, formerly 
a navigable stream, begins at Lafitte Avenue and Jefferson Davis Park 
way and runs northward to the lake. Other navigable waters in 
clude Chef Menteur Pass, Lake St. Catherine, and a number of small 
passes and canals in the marsh area northeast of the built-up section 
of the city; the Mississippi River, Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne, 
Rigolets Pass, and Bayou Bienvenue, all navigable, form part of the 

Lake Pontchartrain on the north, one of the largest lakes in the United 
States, is approximately forty-one miles long and twenty-five miles wide 
and comprises an area of 635 square miles. Of this area 146 square miles 
are included within the boundary of New Orleans. 

Climate. Semi-tropical in nature, with an average yearly temperature 
of 69.5, the weather of New Orleans is remarkably equable, subnormal 
cold and excessive heat being rare. The winters and summers are gener 
ally moderate, Gulf breezes and the proximity of numerous bodies of 
water serving to modify extremes of temperature. Recordings of over 

Natural Setting 

100 and below 20 very seldom occur. The mean annual precipitation is 
59.45 inches, an annual rainfall that exceeds that of any other large city 
in the United States with the exception of Mobile and Miami. The highest 
annual rainfall in New Orleans, 85.73 inches, occurred in 1927; the lowest, 
31.7, in 1899. 

The prevailing winds are from the Gulf, generally from the southeast. 
Tropical hurricanes, which harass most points of the Gulf Coast, very 
seldom strike New Orleans. Occasional fogs occur in the spring and winter 
months, particularly along the river-front, but are, as a rule, of short 

Geology and Paleontology. The Parish of Orleans, located near the 
southeastern extremity of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, lies wholly 
within the delta. With the exception of a few minor outcrops of sea-island 
sand and lake-shore deposits of sand and clam shell, all surface formations 
within the parish are alluvial. The major topographic features are the 
natural levees along the Mississippi and Gentilly ridges and along Bayou 
Sauvage, a former outlet of the river. 

The higher parts of these ridges, or frontlands, are composed of sandy 
loams. These dip and graduate into the backlands, where the soil is 
composed of a lighter loam and waxy clay. Deposits of stiff, blue clay 
fill the area between the ridges, except near the lake shores and passes, 
where the alluvial material has been reworked by tidal action. Here the 
soil consists of mucky masses of partly decomposed vegetation inter 
spersed with a fine, drab-colored clay. Fine peat soil formed by marsh 
vegetation in a state of partial decay sometimes accumulates over exten 
sive low areas to a depth of from one to three feet on the surface of the 
blue clay. 

Fossils consist mainly of marine shells and oysters associated with sea 
shore deposits, and clam shell (Rangia cuneatd) associated with the clay 
deposits. Indian relics are numerous on the shell ridges near the lakes, 
and broken bits of pottery can be found mixed with oyster and clam-shell 
fossils along the lake beaches. Iron concretions and fossil cypress wood 
are found in the blue clay. 

Drainage. The low elevation of New Orleans makes drainage of the city 
a difficult problem. Water has to be removed by pumps from the metro 
politan section of the city, which is protected from outside high water by 
encircling ievees. Ten pumping stations and more than 870 miles of 
drainage canals and pipelines have been installed for that purpose. Under 
ground tributary canals, fed by gutters and drainpipes, lead the water 
into the main system, from which it is pumped into Bayou Bienvenue and 

New Orleans : The General Background 

flows by gravity into Lake Borgne. An additional safety measure is 
provided for in the Bonnet Carre Spillway, which makes possible the 
diversion into Lake Pontchartrain of Mississippi flood waters at a point 
twenty miles above New Orleans. 



LEGENDARY accounts of early voyages by Spanish explorers are cu 
riously substantiated by ancient maps which show that the mouth of the 
Mississippi River and the immediate vicinity of present-day New Orleans 
were known to Europeans only a short time after Columbus led the way 
to the New World. 

On the Tabula Terre Nove, a map made by Waldseemiiller before 1 508 
from an original, probably the Cantino map of 1502, and on other early 
charts, there appears the three-tongued mouth of a river, whose location, 
west of a well-defined Florida, suggests the delta of the Mississippi. In 
asmuch as the discovery of Florida is attributed to no earlier an explorer 
than Ponce de Leon (1513), the only possible inference is a previous dis 
covery, unrecorded in history except by cartographers. 

Later knowledge of the river may have come from the half -legendary 
voyages of Alvarez de Pineda and Cabeza de Vaca, intrepid adventurers 
who explored the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico. According to a pic 
turesque account, Pineda in 1519 discovered the great river, to which he 
gave the name Rio del Espiritu Santo. At its mouth he found a large 
town, and for a distance of six leagues upstream counted forty villages in 
habited by giants and pigmies wearing ornaments of gold in their noses 
and ears. All that was lacking in this beautiful and densely populated 
El Dorado, where the rivers ran to the sea heavily laden with gold, was the 
Fountain of Youth, for want of which, perhaps, the Spaniards thought 
the country not worth conquering. 

Less fantastic is the voyage of De Vaca, leader of the survivors of the 
Narvaez expedition, which was commissioned by the Spanish Govern 
ment in 1528 to explore and conquer the Gulf Coast from Florida to 

8 New Orleans : The General Background 

Mexico. Escaping from the hostile Indians at Apalachicola Bay, De Vaca 
and his men, making their way along the coast in makeshift boats, passed 
the mouth of a broad river, presumably the Mississippi, which poured so 
large a stream into the Gulf that his men were able to obtain fresh water 
far out at sea. One account of this journey relates that, with the exception 
of De Vaca and three men, the entire force capsized and was lost in the 
current, while another narrator states that a tropical storm destroyed all 
but the leader and a few men, who tarried six years among the Indians 
before reaching Mexico. 

The first white men to view the site of New Orleans were Luis Moscoso 
and the survivors of De Soto s expedition, who sailed down the river in 
1543 on their way back to civilization. More than a century later, during 
which time the lower Mississippi lay neglected by explorers, Sieur de la 
Salle, with a party of fifty men, descended from the Great Lakes, making a 
stop on March 31, 1682, at the Indian village of Maheoula, a Tangipahoa 
settlement, which, from Tonty s mention of it as being twenty leagues 
from the western channel of the mouth, must have been close to the pres 
ent location of New Orleans. On April 9, 1682, at a point not far down 
stream (27 North Latitude), a cross was erected with a column bearing 
the arms of France and an inscription claiming the territory in the name 
of Louis XIV. 


Although the Mississippi was one of the first great rivers of North 
America to be discovered and explored by Europeans, and although every 
other important stream on the Atlantic seaboard had a fortified settle 
ment erected at its mouth shortly after its discovery as a safeguard against 
inland exploration by rival European nations, it was not until almost a 
hundred and fifty years after the discovery of the Mississippi that an at 
tempt was made to establish a settlement at the mouth of the river. For 
that purpose Louis XIV sent out an expedition under La Salle in 1684; 
but sailing too far westward, he landed at what is now Matagorda Bay, 
Texas, in the belief that he was entering the western channel of the Mis 
sissippi. Convinced of his error after landing, he sought the Mississippi 
in vain, and was finally forced to abandon the project and attempt an 
overland journey to Canada, during which he was treacherously killed by 
one of his men. 

History 9 

A more successful attempt to rediscover and secure the mouth of the 
Mississippi was made in 1698, when Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d Iberville, 
sailed from Brest with four ships and the wherewithal of colonization. 

In February, 1699, the French arrived at Mobile Bay, where they 
learned from the Indians that the Mississippi was a short distance to the 
west. Proceeding to Ship Island, the fleet anchored and Iberville set out 
in small boats in search of the entrance to the river. The mouth of the 
Mississippi, lined with mud-coated tree trunks, which they mistook from 
afar for rocks, was found on March 2. Running their boats ashore, the 
party sang a Te Deum in honor of the occasion, and the next day, Shrove 
Tuesday, began the ascent of the river, the appropriate name of Mardi 
Gras being given to a bayou twelve miles upstream. Farther on, Indians 
of the Bayagoula and the Mongoulacha tribes were met, and on the fol 
lowing Friday the party arrived at the present site of New Orleans, where 
a buffalo was killed, a cross erected, and some trees marked. The expedi 
tion continued as far as the Red River and made its way back to the con 
voy by way of Bayou Manchac and Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, 
which were named after the Minister of Marine of France and his son, 

The following year Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, Iber- 
ville s brother, left the fort at Biloxi for further exploration of the river. 
He ascended as far as the Ouchas and on his way back met an English 
frigate of sixteen guns which had anchored twenty-eight leagues from the 
mouth of the river. Bienville adroitly dissuaded the English captain from 
proceeding up the river by informing him that his was but a small de 
tachment of a large French force stationed upstream. The English, being 
taken in, weighed anchor and, turning about, sailed to the Gulf; thus 
giving rise to the name English Turn, a part of the river not very far from 
New Orleans, which has been particularly unlucky for the English, since 
at the Battle of New Orleans, a century later, they were turned back again 
a short distance from the same spot. By a slim margin the difference 
between the personalities of two men was the founding of New Orleans 
accomplished by the French rather than the English. 

For twenty-four years (1699-1723) the capital of Louisiana remained 
on the Gulf Coast. Because of the belief that ships would find difficulty 
in gaining entrance to the shallow and debris-obstructed mouth of the 
river, no attempt was made to establish a settlement on the lower Mis 
sissippi. Adrien de Pauger urged that a narrowing of the channel 
through the construction of jetties would increase the current and make 
the river a self-dredging agent, but his advice was not heeded for more 

IO New Orleans : The General Background 

than a century. In the meantime, exploratory work in the vicinity was 
carried on by Jesuit priests, voyageurs from the Great Lakes, and 
coureurs de bois, traders who did business with the Indians. 

It being ascertained that suitable passage could be made for vessels at 
the mouth of the river, Bienville decided upon the settlement of New 
Orleans. A spot thirty leagues from the mouth, where Bayou St. John 
ran from Lake Pontchartrain to within a short distance of the river, was 
selected as the location, the place having been used by the Indians, long 
before white men invaded the region, as a portage offering a short cut be 
tween the Mississippi and the coastal waters to the east. An additional 
advantage afforded by the site was the relatively high land found there, 
a consideration not to be overlooked in that annually flooded region where 
the land hugged the sea in an endless labyrinth of cypress swamps, slug 
gish bayous, and coastal bays. 

The exact date of the founding of La Nouvelle Orleans, named in honor 
of the Regent of France, Philippe, Due d Orleans, has been disputed, 
though most historians agree upon the year 1718, at which time, in Febru 
ary, Bienville entrusted his engineers with the plotting of the town, the 
exact location of which corresponds to the French Quarter of today. 


The new settlement superseded Biloxi in 1723 as the capital of the vast 
Colonial empire of Louisiana. Eighteen miles of levee were constructed 
above and below the town, government buildings erected, and efforts 
made to drain the land. As part of the Mississippi Bubble/ John Law s 
grandiose real-estate project, New Orleans enjoyed an early increase in 
population, although the majority of immigrants coming to Louisiana in 
quest of the easy living advertised in Europe chose to settle along the river 
outside of the small town. Beside the civil and military officials, the popu 
lation consisted of slaves, soldiers, trappers, and merchants. Classes of 
slaves included (i) Negroes imported directly from Africa or from the 
French possessions in the West Indies; (2) esdaves naturels, Indian pris 
oners of war; and (3) redemptioners, impoverished Europeans, most of 
whom were Germans, who had bound themselves to serve for a period of 
three years in payment of their passage and were sold to the planters by 
ship captains. Because of the rapid increase in slaves, the French practice 
of populating Louisiana with convict labor soon came to a stop, resulting 

History II 

in an improvement in the type of colonist settling in and about New 

Under the Company of the Indies, a John Law enterprise, the govern 
ment of the Colony was vested in a Superior Council consisting of the 
directors of the trading company with a commandant-general, in place of 
a governor, at its head. Lower courts were established for the administra 
tion of justice, and a right of appeal to the Superior Council was granted. 
In 1724, the Code Noir, a compilation drawn up for the regulation of 
Negroes on the island of Santo Domingo, was promulgated in Louisiana by 
Governor Bienville. Among its additional provisions were those having to 
do with the expulsion of Jews from the province, under penalty of confisca 
tion of property and imprisonment, and the establishment of the Catholic 
religion as the State faith. For more than a century it formed the basis of 
white treatment of enslaved Negroes. 

The religious administration of the Colony was divided among three 
religious orders. The Jesuits were given charge of all territory north of the 
Ohio, the Capuchins were assigned to the territory west of the Mississippi 
River, and the Carmelite Fathers were placed in charge of the settlement 
east of the river with headquarters at Mobile. The Carmelites failed to 
fill their assignment and the Capuchins were given charge, while the 
Jesuits were allowed to do missionary work among the Indians in the 
Capuchin territory, with the understanding that there would be no inter 
ference with Capuchin activities. Both orders were under the supervision 
of the Bishop of Quebec. 

Care for the sick and education for girls were provided for with the 
arrival in 1727 of six Ursuline nuns, who founded the Ursuline Convent. 
Equally important, however, was the importation during the following 
years of young French women (called files a la cassette because of the 
chests of clothes and linen given them as dowries by the French Govern 
ment) to supply wives for the colonists. 

In 1731 the Company of the Indies relinquished its charter and Louisi 
ana once more became a province of the Crown. A governor, appointed 
by the King as his representative, regulated the simple affairs of the 
Colony, and in his executive capacity exercised military and administra 
tive authority, enforced by the soldiery of which he was the head. His 
dictatorial power also embraced judicial and legislative activity, limited 
to a great extent, however, by the fact that all ordinances and royal edicts 
emanated from France. The Superior Council was reorganized to consist 
of the intendant, procureur-genfral (King s attorney), registrar of the 
province, and six prominent citizens. In conjunction with the Governor 

12 New Orleans: The General Background 

and a commissaire ordonnateur (agent of the King in charge of commcn < 
and Crown property) the Council discharged the executive, legislative, 
and judicial affairs of the Colony. Justice was administered, without trial 
by jury, by inferior courts subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the 
Superior Council. The Custom of Paris, a codification of ancient French 
law, formed the basis of Colonial law from the beginning. 

Marly in its history the town took on a gay and light-hearted appear 
ance. Under the governorship of the Marquis de Vaudreuil (1743-53) 
the social life of the town was modeled after Versailles, and citizens sought 
to outdo each other in the splendor of their social affairs. 

The capital of one third of the present area of the United States grew 
slowly. At first only that manufacturing which had to do with supplying 
the immediate needs of the Colony was undertaken. Sawmills were in 
operation soon after the town was founded, and by 1729 brick, pottery, 
and tiling were being sold in New Orleans. Shipbuilding, especially the 
construction of pirogues, brigantincs, and other small craft, developed as 
an industry to meet the demands of growing commerce on the Mississippi. 

Never fully rcali/.ing her importance as the port of the Mississippi 
Valley, New Orleans lay dormant during the first half of the eighteenth 
century. Trade restrictions prohibited commerce with any but the mother 
country, and illegal trade with Kngland, Spain, Mexico, Florida, and the 
West Indies had to be resorted to. With merchants and officials conniving 
with smugglers and pirates, smuggling grew to such an extent that in 1763 
the illicit traffic was estimated to represent one sixth of the ollicial trade 
total. The bulk of cargoes, shipped in exchange for slaves and Kuropean 
merchandise, consisted of lumber, pitch, tar, wax from the wax myrtle, 
brick, rice, indigo, sugarcane, cotton, sassafras, and fur pelts. As settlers 
crossed the Allegheny Mountains and developed the Middle West, New 
Orleans began to grow as a commercial port. The extent to which the 
river IrallK had grown by 1750 may be seen in the ! re<|ucnt requests of 
Colonial officials for sailors to man the boats used on the river. By i /<>.* 
exports totaled $.$04,000; indigo accounted for $100,000, skins and furs 
$80,000, and lumber $50,000. 


By the Treaty of Fontainebleau, 170.?, and the Treaty of Paris, 1763, 
Louis XV ceded New Orleans, along with the portion of Louisiana lying 
west of the Mississippi River, to Spain. It was not until 1764 that the 

Hi. stor 

French officials were informed of the transaction ami instructed to relin 
quish the Colony. For two more years the city remained abandoned by 
France and unclaimed by Spain. Indignation on the part of the citi/enry 
against the transfer ran high, and was expressed in open resentment 
toward the Spanish commissioner, Don Antonio de Ulloa, who took 
possession of the Colony in 1766. 

On October 28, 1768, a mass meeting of citizens, at which Ulloa s ex 
pulsion was demanded, was held in New Orleans. The Superior Council, 
acting upon the demands of the assembled populace, issued an order ex 
pelling the Spanish commandant, who, with his household, had retired to 
a ship lying at anchor in the river. During the night a band of insurgents 
carrying torches and flares cut the vessel loose from its mooring, and 
morning found the head of the government well on the way toward the 
Gulf of Mexico. Serious consideration was given a proposal to found a re 
public with a Protector at its head, but fear of foreign intervention acted 
against the scheme. 

For two years the Colony, the first in America to revolt against a 
European power, enjoyed freedom from foreign rule, but on July J4, i 700, 
the whole town was thrown into a tumult by news of the arrival at the 
mouth of the river of twenty-four Spanish men-of-war and twent 
hundred soldiers under the command of Spain s most illustrious general, 
Count Alexander O Reilly. No opposition was made upon the arrival of 
the flotilla in August, and O Reilly took formal possession on August 18, 
replacing the French flag in the Place d Armes with the flag of Spain. 
Shortly afterward, twelve leaders of the October revolt were imprisoned, 
six being executed for their participation in the bloodless rebellion. 

Changes in government were made, and the French law was abolished 
and supplanted by the law in force in other Spanish colouic-s. The F\ecu- 
tive Department consisted of a governor assisted by an intendant , auditor 
of war, auditor of the intendancy, comptroller, and various minor officials, 
lioth civil and military powers were vested in the Governor, who ap 
pointed commandants in the same capacity for each parish or district. 
The Sui>erior Council of the French regime was replaced by a legislative 
and quasi-administrative council called the Cabildo, which was composed 
of six perpetual regidors, two alcaldes, an attorney-general syndic, and a 
clerk. Its judicial function was limited to the jurisdiction of appeals from 
the alcaldes courts set up in New Orleans and the chief towns of the prov- 
ime. For lack of a legislative body, laws came either direi My from Spain, 
the Captain-General of Cuba, the A luirnciu 1 1 a buna (Cuban administra 
tive council), or from the Governor himself, who, at the outset of his term, 

14 New Orleans: The General Background 

promulgated a list of laws in an inaugural address, the bando de buen 
gobierno. Centralization of power in the hands of a few officials, lack of a 
legislative body, and bureaucracy continued under Spanish rule to char 
acterize the government of the Colony. 

O Reilly, before his departure in 1770, relieved the commerce of the 
Colony to some extent. Its trade had been confined, since Ulloa s ad 
ministration, to six ports of Spain. Trade had also been forbidden with 
any but Spanish vessels owned and commanded by the King s subjects. 
Don Luis de Unzaga, Governor in 1772, tolerantly ignored the forbidden 
trade with the British, which had grown considerably, and without which 
the commerce of the Province would have suffered greatly. In 1774 the 
estimated value of Louisiana commerce was $600,000, of which only 
$15,000 passed through legitimate Spanish channels. 

With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Spanish officials be 
came involved, conniving with the revolting colonists in the war against 
England. American agents were permitted to establish bases in the city, 
through which they supplied the Atlantic colonies with munitions and 
supplies. Most active in this work was Oliver Pollock, a merchant 
granted freedom of trade in New Orleans and Louisiana in return for the 
shipload of flour he had placed at O Reilly s disposal in 1769, when the 
Spanish general was hard pressed in supplying his troops with provisions. 
By advancing supplies and credit totaling $300,000 to the revolting 
colonists during the Revolution, Pollock played an important part in the 
success of the American cause. 

Large numbers of French settlers and free Indians, who had refused to 
take the oath of allegiance to England after West Florida had been ceded 
to that country in 1763, moved to New Orleans or elsewhere in the vicin 
ity. Under Don Bernardo de Galvez, son of the Viceroy of Spain and 
Governor of Louisiana, an expedition was permitted to be fitted out in 
New Orleans and sent against Fort Bute, an English settlement in the 
Manchac country. The fort was captured, and British territory as far 
north as Natchez was terrorized by the expedition. 

As a result of these and other acts, Great Britain declared war against 
Spain in 1779, whereupon Galvez, with an army of militia, Indians, 
Negroes, and volunteers of every character, took advantage of the oppor 
tunity to make a series of successful raids against the enemy at Baton 
Rouge, Natchez, Manchac, Mobile, and Pensacola. 

In 1788 the city was almost completely destroyed by a great fire. 
Tapers lighted in observances of Good Friday of that year ignited the 
curtains of the Nunez house on Chartres Street. Swept by a strong south 

History 15 

wind, the conflagration spread through the town, consuming 856 houses 
and laying waste four-fifths of the city. While New Orleans was being 
rebuilt, most of the inhabitants were forced to seek refuge among the 
planters along the river. 

The year 1794 was notable. The first newspaper in Louisiana, Le 
Moniteur de la Louisiane, appeared on the streets of New Orleans; 
fitienne de Bore, a sugar-cane planter, successfully granulated sugar; 
Governor Carondelet authorized construction of a canal from Bayou St. 
John to the city ramparts, and the new St. Louis Church, not yet a cathe 
dral, was dedicated. A most disastrous occurrence, however, was a fire 
that razed 212 of the buildings erected after the Great Fire of 1788. 


By the Treaty of San Ildefonso (1801) Louisiana was ceded to France. 
The colonists were not formally notified of the transfer until the arrival 
in March 1803 of Pierre Laussat, the Colonial Prefect sent by Napoleon 
to take over the Colony. He was coldly received, for although New Or 
leans was preponderantly French, the townspeople were not enthusiastic 
about the change. The substitution of French assignats of fluctuating 
value for Spanish silver, the possibility of new laws affecting commerce, 
and the revolutionary policy that had bred the revolt at Santo Domingo 
were cause for alarm to a populace grown accustomed to peace under the 
Spanish. Laussat was considered a dangerous revolutionnaire by the 
royalists and emigres, and so frightened were the Ursuline nuns of the 
emissary of an anti-Catholic government that most of them left for 
Havana in June, despite the assurance and pleadings of Laussat. 

News of the sale of Louisiana to the United States (April 30, 1803) 
arrived in August and placed Laussat in an embarrassing position. The 
great plans he had contemplated for the Colony during his regime were 
of no consequence, since his official capacity was now concerned merely 
with the taking over of Louisiana from Spain and the immediate cession 
of it to the United States. 

The ceremony of transfer to France was fixed for November 3. By 
noon that day the principal part of the population of New Orleans had 
assembled in the Place d Armes to wait in the rain while Salcedo, Gover 
nor of Louisiana, the Marquis of Casa Calvo, Spanish Commissioner, and 
Laussat met in the H6tel de Ville (Cabildo) to read the proclamation of 

1 6 New Orleans: The General Background 

transfer. Absolution from their oath of allegiance was granted to all 
Spaniards not wishing to retain their citizenship, and the keys to Fort 
St. Charles and Fort St. Louis were handed to Laussat on a silver plate. 
The official party then made its way to the square, where the Spanish flag 
was taken down and the French Tricolor raised in its stead. 

Twenty days later transfer of the Colony to the United States took 
place. Claiborne, Wilkinson, and Laussat met at the Cabildo, and after 
conducting ceremonies similar to those of November 30 joined the crowd 
assembled in the Place d Armes. After the American troops had arrived 
the ceremony of the interchange of flags was gone through. Although the 
Tricolor of France descended without a hitch, the American flag stuck 
and caused some difficulty in hoisting. A banquet of 450 places, started 
at three o clock in the afternoon, was followed by a dance, which ended 
late the next morning. 

New Orleans was as dissatisfied with the transfer to the United States 
as it had been with retrocession to France. The Creole element of the 
town, which outnumbered the American residents twelve to one, disliked 
Claiborne as governor because he knew little concerning their country, 
people, or language. He surrounded himself with Americans, and the 
number of them he put in office seemed to the Orleanians to be out of all 
proportion to their representation. The introduction of new customs, and 
particularly the use of English as the official language, outraged the town. 
Insurrectionary placards posted at night, and duels and clashes between 
Orleanians and Americans in the streets and in ballrooms, added to the 
bitter feeling, which culminated in a petition to Congress for admission to 
the Union and the right to elect a governor. 


At this period in its history, New Orleans was still a small town extend 
ing about a mile along the turn of the river, from Fort St. Charles to Fort 
St. Louis. Three suburbs skirted the fosse and the dilapidated palisades 
of the original city (now the French Quarter) ; the Faubourg Ste. Marie on 
the south in the region that is now the commercial section; the Faubourg 
Treme on the west above Rampart to the cypress swamps of Bayou St. 
John; and the Faubourg Marigny on the east below Esplanade, on the 
lands of Bernard de Marigny. In this entire area there were twelve to 
fourteen hundred buildings, housing a population of approximately 
10,000 4000 whites, 2500 free Negroes, and the remainder slaves. 

History 17 

The Place d Armes (Jackson Square), slightly larger then, opened on 
the river. Facing the square and the Mississippi stood the most imposing 
building in town, the twin-towered St. Louis Cathedral. Quite as magnifi 
cent was the Principal or Hotel de Ville (Cabildo) beside the church, 
back of which stood the Calaboose or prison. Other public buildings were 
the Ursuline Convent, the Custom House, two hospitals, a barracks, and 
a government house. 

The buildings on Levee (Decatur), Chartres, and Royal Streets were 
constructed of brick, faced with lime or stucco, and had roofs of tile and 
slate. Those in the rear were made of cypress with shingle roofs, and were 
so combustible that an ordinance had to be passed forbidding the further 
erection of timber buildings. As a precaution against flooding during 
rainstorms the houses were set on pillars, leaving a kind of cellar on the 
surface of the ground. Flights of stairs, vestiges of which remain to this 
day in the Vieux Carre, encroached upon the banquette, a sidewalk four or 
five feet wide, constructed of bricks with a retaining wall of cypress planks. 

Visitors to the city at this time were unanimous in their condemnation 
of the unpaved streets which, though well laid out, were little better than 
muddy canals. The city blocks were three hundred and twenty feet long; 
the streets were thirty-seven feet wide and were lined with ditches to 
carry off the seepage from the levee. Advantage was taken in the con 
struction of the sewerage system of the curious phenomenon of water 
draining away from the river. Criss-cross ditches, when flooded by means 
of sluices in the levee, carried the refuse of the town to the swamps and 
Lake Pontchartrain. The system proved a failure, however, because of 
the indolence of the garbage men (four carts were detailed for removing 
filth from the streets), who permitted the conduits to become clogged. 
As a result, the slop and garbage thrown in the gutters created a stench 
that was only dispelled by flushing rains. The blocks after a hard rain 
were completely surrounded by water, and as a consequence came to be 
called ilets. The streets were lighted by means of lanterns hung from 
hooks attached to corner buildings. They swung in the wind, were put 
out by rain, and at best afforded poor light. What with the pitfalls, the 
uneven banquettes, and the detours occasioned by lakes of standing water, 
walking was an adventure. On more than one occasion high-born ladies 
went to balls with their skirts lifted high and their party shoes and stock 
ings in their hands. 

Fire-fighting must have been a thrilling and terrifying affair. The 
Depot des Pompes (engine house) was located at the Cabildo and housed 
four engines, twelve dozen buckets, twelve ladders, ten grappling irons 

1 8 New Orleans: The General Background 

and chains, ten gaffs, twelve shovels, twelve pickaxes, and ten sledge 
hammers. From twelve to twenty-two men served each machine, all 
volunteers, with an additional company of sappers whose duty it was to 
tear down buildings if the fire threatened to spread. When a fire broke 
out it was announced to the town by the watchman who stood on the 
porch of the St. Louis Cathedral for that purpose. He rang the alarm bell 
of the church and waved a flag to indicate to the people the direction of 
the fire. All policemen who could be spared were obliged to aid in the 
fire-fighting, as were the townspeople met on the way. A reward of fifty 
dollars to the engine company first reaching the fire encouraged speed. 

The police force, which was frequently reorganized in an effort to pre 
serve law and order, continued inadequate, judging from the complaints 
made to the City Fathers about the numerous pigsties permitted within 
the city limits, the removal of ground from places reserved for the town, 
and the reckless driving of Negro cart drivers, who violated the ordinance 
against standing while driving. Censure was also brought on the City 
Guard when a murdered man found in the Faubourg Ste. Marie was 
buried by charitable persons after the police had left him lying in the 
streets for three days. To improve the efficiency of the force in catching 
desperados stalking the streets at night a sentry box was placed every 
four blocks, around which watchmen, carrying swords and lances, were 
to patrol in the greatest silence, since the noise that they had hitherto 
made enabled the prowlers to know of their whereabouts. 

Two cotton mills and a crude sugar refinery were the main industries 
of the city. Seafaring craft anchored at the levee near the Place d Armes, 
and barges and flatboats from the Mississippi Valley tied up at the Bat- 
ture, ten steps from Tchoupitoulas Street. Three banks, the first of which 
opened in 1805 on Royal between Conti and St. Louis Streets (now the 
Patio Royal), administered to the business needs of New Orleans. 

Described by travelers as a Babylon where Creoles, English, Spanish, 
French, Germans, Italians, and Americans did little else than dance, 
drink, and gamble, New Orleans soon gained notoriety as a wide-open 
town. Every sort of entertainment was afforded the citizenry, from bear- 
and bull-baiting to Voodoo rites conducted by the Negroes in Congo 
Square (now Beauregard Square). In fact, such was the gaiety of New 
Orleans on Sundays that horrified visitors were wont to think it a con 
venient religion which, while it administered to the needs of the soul, took 
care that it did not interfere with the more important pleasure of the 

The mania for dancing kept a public ball going twice a week during the 

History 19 

winter, adults attending one day and children the other. Dancing lasted 
from seven until cock-crowing the next morning. Quadroon balls, at 
which ladies of slight color and of extraordinary beauty entertained the 
jeunesse doree of the town, were gay affairs compared to the sedate balls 
held by the white women of society. Latin temperament ran high, and 
swords or pistols were often resorted to when a question of honor arose. 
Concubinage between whites and blacks was an established custom, but 
New Orleans society/ with its roots imbedded in European culture and 
elegance, ran its course sedate and unperturbed. 

In addition to these amusements the general public found entertain 
ment at the French theaters on St. Philip and St. Peter Streets. They 
were open three times a week, drawing the greatest crowds on Sunday. 
Their presentations, as they were announced in the newspapers, competed 
for public favor with exhibitions of elephants and displays of fireworks. 


After American annexation numerous Americans, aware of the fortunes 
to be made in a city so advantageously situated, began to settle in New 
Orleans. Because of the antipathy of the Creoles, who pictured all Ameri 
cans as boorish rowdies, the newcomers settled in the Faubourg Ste. Marie 
on the upstream side of the town in what is now the business section of 
New Orleans. Here they developed a town quite distinct from the old 
New Orleans. As time passed and the city began to benefit from unre 
stricted trade with other States of the Mississippi Valley the two ele 
ments merged, and though the Creoles held themselves aloof socially, 
common civic interests and the leveling effect of commercial intercourse 
tended to unite the inhabitants. 

New Orleans was incorporated February 17, 1805, and the city limits 
defined. The municipal government consisted of a mayor, a recorder, a 
treasurer, and fourteen aldermen. The latter formed a council whose func 
tion it was to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better 
government of the affairs of the city corporation. Free white males, 
residents of New Orleans for a year, either owners of real estate of five 
hundred dollars value or renters paying one hundred dollars a year, were 
qualified to vote. James Pitot, builder of one of the first cotton presses 
in New Orleans (corner of Toulouse and Burgundy Streets) succeeded 
fitienne de Bore as mayor, and on March 4, 1805, the townspeople first 
exercised their franchise in an election of aldermen. 

2O New Orleans : The General Background 

In the same year the Legislature provided for the establishment of New 
Orleans first higher institution of learning, the College of Orleans. Schools 
in the Colony had been scarce. The Ursuline nuns offered instructions to 
seventy or eighty young girls and maintained a schoolhouse near the 
convent where female children appeared at certain hours to be gratui 
tously instructed in writing, reading, and arithmetic. No mention is 
made of similar schools for boys; they had to rely, possibly, upon private 
schools such as that conducted by the Reverend Philander Chase on 
Tchoupitoulas Street, or that opened at 29 Bienville Street by Francis 
Racket, teacher of English, arithmetic, geography, and history. The 
College of Orleans, which was finally opened in 1811 through a govern 
ment appropriation of $15,000, had a president and four professors 
and a curriculum which included Latin, Greek, English, French, Spanish, 
philosophy, literature, and the sciences. From 1822 to 1825 the college 
was under the direction of Joseph Lakanal, prominent for his work in 
reorganizing the French school system under the Directory and Napo 

The New Orleans Library Society was incorporated April 19, 1805, 
when an unlimited number of twenty-five-dollar shares were sold and the 
first library in New Orleans was established. During the same year, after 
a vote of the Protestants in the city favored an Episcopal clergyman, the 
first Protestant church was organized. 

Many improvements were made in the town during the next few years. 
A waterworks carrying water from the Mississippi in wooden conduits 
laid a foot and a half below the banquettes was installed by Louis Gleise; 
a Negro chain gang was employed in filling in the streets; sidewalks were 
built and crossing bridges constructed; and meat markets, notoriously 
unclean, had their water closets torn down. 

As the center of Aaron Burr s filibustering schemes, New Orleans was 
thrown into a panic in the winter of 1806 when a large flotilla with Burr 
as its leader was reported descending the Mississippi to use the city as a 
base in furthering his intention of separating the Western country from 
the United States or, failing in that, to wrest Mexico from Spain. The 
banks were to be plundered of $2,000,000 and Louisiana revolutionized. 

Great efforts were made to fortify the city against what was said to be 
a formidable force. The Chamber of Commerce met to consider ways and 
means of defense, money was subscribed, orders given for organization 
of the Battalion of Orleans, and volunteers and the militia cavalry ordered 
out. In the meantime, Burr with sixty to eighty men kept ahead of 
orders for his arrest until he was stopped at Natchez and held for trial, at 

History 21 

news of which the hysteria in New Orleans subsided as quickly as it had 
been aroused. 

The first steamboat to descend the Mississippi River arrived in New 
Orleans amid great enthusiasm on January 10, 1812. Propulsion by steam 
solved the problem of upstream navigation, and was the greatest single 
factor in the rapid growth of New Orleans to a major North American 

Louisiana was admitted to the Union April 30, 1812. New Orleans, 
then the capital of the State, had a population of 24,552 in 1810, having 
more than doubled its population in the first decade of the nineteenth 
century. This increase was caused largely by the immigration of refugees 
from Santo Domingo; almost six thousand arrived in two months in 
1809. The city, hard pressed at first to find room for the immigrants, 
absorbed them in the course of time. Gay and luxury-loving, they infused 
a new spirit into the town and tended to offset the American influence 
then beginning to be felt. 


In the last year of the War of 1812 New Orleans became the objective 
of an attempted British invasion of the Mississippi Valley. Throughout 
the war an attack had been anticipated, but it was not until after the 
sack of Washington that the British turned their attention to the Gulf. 
The Spanish port of Pensacola was used as a base, from which a campaign 
was conducted against General Andrew Jackson. The Lafitte brothers, 
Pierre and Jean, who had built up a lucrative privateering business at 
Barataria, were invited to join forces with the British. Although the 
British offered him rank as captain and protection for his buccaneering 
enterprises, Jean Lafitte rejected the offer, but, feigning acceptance, sent 
the letters of the English official to Governor Claiborne, along with an 
offer of aid in the defense of New Orleans. The hellish banditti, with 
whom Jackson was loath to associate, later acquitted themselves bravely 
during the Battle of New Orleans. 

Jackson and his troops arrived in New Orleans on December 2, 1814, 
six days after General Sir Edward Pakenham had left Jamaica with his 
fleet and the pick of Wellington s Peninsular veterans. Immediate 
preparations were made for the defense of a town which looked to the 
future with distrust and gloomy apprehension, in which banks because 

22 New Orleans: The General Background 

of lack of specie had suspended payment on notes for several months, and 
which hoped to be saved only by miracle. The outlying forts at Chef 
Menteur, the Rigolets, and along the river were inspected and recon 
ditioned; the coastal bayous were ordered to be blocked against the 
British ascent. 

The enemy arrived at Chandeleur Island December 10, 1814. Since 
Lake Borgne was too shallow to permit the frigates to land troops, a 
transfer was made to small boats. An engagement for the control of the 
waterway occurred on December 14, in which the British with forty-five 
open boats manned by twelve hundred men defeated five American gun 
boats detailed for scouting purposes in Lake Borgne. During the follow 
ing week, while two British officers succeeded with the help of some 
Spanish fishermen in reconnoitering Bayou Bienvenue as far as the 
Villere Plantation, seven miles below New Orleans, seven thousand 
troops were transferred to the mainland. 

News of the defeat on Lake Borgne excited feverish activity in the 
city. Jackson assumed dictatorial powers and declared martial law. 
Lafitte s men were enlisted and messengers were sent to hurry Carroll 
and Thomas with their detachments of Tennessee and Mississippi vol 
unteers; Coffee and his men, who had been sent to Baton Rouge, were 
ordered to advance by forced marches. Great patriotic fervor swept the 
town; the Marseillaise, Yankee Doodle, and Chant du Depart rang through 
the streets, as men of many nationalities white, black, and Indian 
prepared to repulse the redcoats who were coming from no one knew 
what direction. 

At noon, December 23, 1814, the vanguard of the British army suc 
ceeded in advancing unseen, via Bayou Bienvenue, as far as the Villere 
Plantation, where Major Villere and the militia under his command were 
captured. While the British set up camp and brought up troops from the 
fleet at anchor in Lake Borgne, General Andrew Jackson, having been 
notified of the strength and position of the invaders, mobilized his men 
and drew up plans for an immediate attack. The war-schooner Carolina* 
was to anchor off of the levee close to the enemy encampment and give the 
signal for a general attack by pouring a broadside of hot shot at the 
British. Coffee and his Tennesseans, who had previously marched 120 
miles in two days, were to move through the cypress swamps and fall 
upon the British flank and rear, while Jackson and his regulars, Plauche s 
city volunteers, who ran all the way to New Orleans from Fort St. John 
(now commemorated in the Jackson Day Run), d Aquin s colored battal 
ion, McRea s marines, and eighteen Choctaw Indians were to strike 
along the river. 

History 23 

At 7:30 P.M. the Carolina sidled up to the levee and opened fire upon 
the unsuspecting British as they were cooking supper and preparing their 
bivouacs. Confusion reigned as the redcoats put out their fires and ran 
for shelter behind a secondary levee. Simultaneously, Jackson and Coffee 
advanced to the attack. In the hand-to-hand combat in the dark, in 
which bayonets, tomahawks, hunting knives, and fists were used to ad 
vantage, the Tennesseans made murderous inroads on the British right 
flank, although Jackson s charge was met with stubborn resistance. 
After two hours fighting a heavy fog terminated the battle, neither side 
having gained any decisive advantage. 

The American forces retreated two miles toward New Orleans during 
the night and established a breastwork on an abandoned canal between 
Chalmette and Rodriguez Plantations. During the following week, while 
the intervening area was flooded by a break in the levee to impede an 
advance by the enemy, eight batteries were erected and preparations 
made for the British attack. The army under Jackson consisted of about 
five thousand men made up of volunteers, free Negroes, Choctaw In 
dians, Baratarians, and volunteers from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missis 
sippi. This motley crew, as strange a force as ever served under one 
flag, was expected to withstand the assault of between eight and nine 
thousand British veterans. 

The British, with Pakenham now at their head, brought up more 
troops and artillery. On January i, in an effort to open breaches in the 
American fortifications, twenty-four English guns began a steady fire 
upon the entire extent of Jackson s line. The Americans, with twelve 
or thirteen guns, replied with enthusiasm. Round after round rattled 
down the breastwork from the river to the swamp as the defenders of 
the city manned their batteries in the manner that had won for Americans 
the reputation of being the best artillerymen of their day. So steady 
were their rounds of fire and so deadly their aim that within an hour 
the fire of the enemy was broken. By three o clock in the afternoon the 
British ceased firing and abandoned their guns, conceding victory to 
Jackson s men, among whom none handled their guns better than You 
and Beluche, battle-scarred members of the Barataria brigade. 

Pakenham now elected to wait for reinforcements to come up from his 
fleet. Jackson benefited little by the delay, for although two thousand 
Kentuckians arrived, few could be put into service due to a shortage of 
guns and equipment. While rumors circulated to the effect that New 
Orleans was to be burned to the ground in the event of defeat, or was to 
be surrendered to the British by the city officials who were unduly alarmed 

24 New Orleans: The General Background 

by the reputed watchword of the enemy, * Beauty and Booty, prepara 
tions went ahead for a major encounter. 


Had there been faster means of communication in those days, news of 
the signing of peace at Ghent, December 24, 1814, would have been 
received to lift the siege and avert the battle of January 8. As it was, 
the morning broke with the roar of cannon and the orderly advance of 
the British main army. Preceded by showers of Congreve rockets, the 
British, carrying scaling ladders, advanced with precision and arrogant 
slowness. The main attack was directed to the American left near the 
cypress swamp, where Generals Carroll, Adair, and Coffee were stationed 
with their dirty shirts, as the British called the riflemen from Kentucky 
and Tennessee. Grape and canister were poured into the ranks of the 
oncoming redcoats, while the backwoodsmen, unabashed by either the 
elegance or the reputation of the veterans who had harassed Napoleon, 
cut great swaths in the enemy line. Standing knee-deep in mud and 
water, these bedraggled, tobacco-chewing mountaineers handled their 
shootin irons with great precision and devastating efficiency. British 
reserves came up to keep the line intact, but the advance was checked 
short of the breastwork, the British retreating from the hail of fire that 
crackled across the plain. Pakenham, in an attempt to rally his men, 
was shot from his horse and carried to the rear, mortally wounded. A 
second rally was effected but was completely routed, only a few valiant 
British meeting death at the American breastwork. By 8:30 in the morn 
ing the enemy was entirely defeated, and retreated, leaving the field cov 
ered with dead and wounded. Thirteen of Jackson s men were killed, 
30 wounded, and 19 missing, as compared to the British casualties of 
700 killed, 1400 wounded, and 500 missing. 

The Americans kept up a ceaseless artillery fire until January 17, 
when the British retired to their fleet, leaving the Americans in possession. 
The march of the victorious defenders into the town was a triumphant 
procession. January 23 was declared a day of Thanksgiving, and an im 
pressive ceremony was given in Jackson s honor in the square now bear 
ing his name. A huge throng gathered to watch him pass under an arch, 
as girls tossed flowers in his path. A Te Deum was sung in the Cathedral,, 
and in the evening the city and suburbs were splendidly illuminated. 

History 25 


New Orleans entered upon an era of almost unbroken tranquillity, 
prosperity, and commercial expansion, which lasted until the Civil War. 
The value of exports reached nearly $10,000,000 in 1815. After the 
Fulton-Livingston monopoly of Mississippi steamboat traffic had been 
declared null and void by the United States Supreme Court, steamboats 
multiplied rapidly, and increased from 21 in 1814 to 989 in 1830. As 
the steamboat became an accepted fact, trade along the entire exten^ 
of the Mississippi increased, and New Orleans began to vie with New 
York as an important port for European commerce. The levees at New 
Orleans were piled high with merchandise, and thousands of dock-hands 
unloaded steamboats to transfer the cargo to ships which carried the 
produce of the valley to ports all over the world. Cotton, tobacco, 
grain, and meat came down the river in enormous quantities, as sugar, 
coffee, and European manufactures went back to the pioneer homes of 
the new settlements. 

As commerce grew, the city rapidly expanded. The American Quarter 
came into its own and was recognized as a very definite factor in the city s 
growth. Tchoupitoulas Road, near Canal Street, was by now an important 
commercial center. Under Samuel J. Peters, James H. Caldwell, and 
William H. Sparks the suburbs beyond what is now Howard Avenue 
were developed, and rural homes, dairies, orchards, and farms grew 
closer together as the region took on an urban aspect. Below Esplanade 
Avenue the Marigny Plantation was being developed as a suburb, while 
beyond Rampart Street along the Bayou Road numerous homes were 
being erected. 

Immigration of gamblers, criminals, and riffraff from all over the 
world, lured to New Orleans because of its reputation as a lawless river 
town, brought on an acute crime problem, and the city s first criminal 
court was established to cope with the situation in 1817. A custom of 
the time for the preservation of peace one which lasted for many years 
was the sounding of the curfew nightly. A cannon was fired at 8 and 
at 9 P.M. to warn those who were out without permission to return to 
their homes, and sailors to return to their ships. A special pass issued by 
a respected merchant or employer was required of those wishing to be 
on the streets after curfew. At nine o clock most of the taverns and shops 
closed their doors, although some of the better hotels or taverns, by 
virtue of their position, were not restricted by the curfew. 

26 New Orleans: The General Background 

In March, 1818, the first steam waterworks was completed. Located 
on the levee near the French Market, it supplied water for both drink 
ing and general use. Prior to its being put into operation, most of the 
drinking water taken from the Mississippi had been peddled through the 
streets at a picayune (about 6>^ ) for four bucketfuls. 

In 1821 the city was excited by a rumor that an expedition was being 
fitted out under Dominique You with the intention of rescuing Napoleon 
Bonaparte from St. Helena. Ever since Napoleon s incarceration on the 
island, certain French citizens in the city had been interested in a plan 
to bring him to New Orleans. Nicholas Girod, mayor from 1812 to 1815, 
offered his house at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis Streets as a 
refuge for the former emperor, and legend has it that he had a boat 
built and provisioned for the rescue. Three days before sailing word was 
received that Napoleon had died, and the expedition was abandoned. 
Legend persists in investing at least two houses on Chartres Street with 
importance as being possible homes of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Because of the French-speaking population, theaters had limited their 
offerings to that language. An English actor by the name of James H. 
Caldwell presented, in 1820, the first English play to be staged in New 
Orleans. His success was so great that in 1822 he laid the cornerstone 
of the American Theater on Camp Street between Gravier and Poydras, 
the first building of any pretension to be constructed in the American 
Quarter. With the opening of this theater in 1823 New Orleans was in 
troduced to illuminating gas. 

Within the next few years many civic improvements took place. Two 
hundred and fifty street lights were placed in the diagonals of the principal 
streets in 1821. Each intersection was hung with twelve lanterns, but 
although street lighting was greatly improved, the old custom of carrying 
a lantern when going abroad after dark was continued until 1840. A 
few streets were partly paved, Chartres Street having the distinction of 
being the only street paved its full length. The first paving in the Amer 
ican Quarter was done when two squares of St. Charles Street were laid 
with cobblestones and covered with fine gravel. Those streets which 
were not paved had wooden gutters and sidewalks, swept and kept clean 
by Negro chain gangs. Trees were planted in the Place d Armes, along 
the levee, in Congo Square, and along many of the streets. Sycamores 
were the principal trees chosen. 

Masked balls and street masking became features of the Mardi Gras 
celebration early in Colonial times. They were continued under the 
Spanish until the governors suppressed street masking because of row- 

History 27 

dyism. Street masking again came into vogue about 1835 and the news 
papers described a Mardi Gras parade for the first time. 

In 1831 the Pontchar train Railroad was put into operation between 
New Orleans and Milneburg, a distance of four and a half miles. A 
financial success from the start, the railroad soon increased its facilities 
for freight and passengers, and a harbor and a town (Milneburg) were 
laid out at the lake end of the line. 

The city was visited by a terrible epidemic of yellow fever and Asiatic 
cholera in 1832 and 1833. In the two-year period that the epidemic 
raged, approximately ten thousand people died. 

The Medical College of Louisiana, the forerunner of Tulane University, 
was founded in 1834, and was opened the following year with sixteen 
students in attendance. The school grew slowly until it was made the 
University of Louisiana by legislative act in 1847, and became Tulane 
University in 1883, after a large bequest was left to it by Paul Tulane. 

Ill feeling between the Americans and Creoles was manifested in many 
ways, more so because the Creoles outnumbered the Americans in the 
City Council, and as a result received the benefit of Council enactments. 
This animosity came to a climax in 1836 when a young American was 
killed in a duel by a Creole. In conformance with the law, the survivor 
was placed on trial, but was acquitted. The decision was taken by the 
Americans as an individual insult, and justice was demanded by a mob 
which surrounded the judge s home. The State, taking heed of the 
trouble in the city, withdrew the charter and issued another, with the 
provision that the city be divided into three separate municipalities, to 
be governed over by an autonomous board of elected aldermen, presided 
over by a recorder. A fourth board, which was to constitute the City 
Council, was drafted from the three boards and was presided over by 
the Mayor. Only those problems which were of common interest to all 
three municipalities were handled by the City Council. The first munici 
pality embraced the Creole section, the second comprised the American 
or uptown section, and the third contained the remainder of what is now 
New Orleans. In 1852, after sixteen years of tripartite government, the 
city was reunited into a single municipality. 

The nationwide panic of 1837 caused a serious disruption of business 
in New Orleans and threatened to disturb the financial structure of the 
city. Fourteen banks announced suspension of the payment of specie. 
In an attempt to improve financial conditions, more money was put into 
circulation, each municipality issuing its own money, which ranged in 
denomination from twenty-five cents to four dollars. In the mad scramble 

28 New Orleans: The General Background 

for money, which depreciated as rapidly as it was issued, corporations, 
and even individuals, issued their own money. Depreciation was so 
great that money had to be carried about in large sacks. Credit was 
stagnated until 1839, when prosperity returned, and the city again forged 

By 1840 New Orleans, with 102,192 inhabitants, had grown to be the 
fourth largest city in the United States. Second only to New York as a 
port, it was contesting with that city for first place. Commerce of that 
year reached the total of approximately $200,000,000. Imports, which in 
1815 had represented 50 per cent of the total commerce when New 
Orleans was the only port of entry for the upper valley, declined to 
33^3 P er cent by 1840, a diminution attributable to changing trade 
conditions following the construction of the Erie Canal and the building 
of railroads from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Middle West. Competition 
from Eastern seaports for the valley trade became noticeable after 1835, 
when thousands of tons of produce were moving out of the Ohio country to 
New York instead of to New Orleans. No impression was made upon the 
business interests of New Orleans, however, because the continued in 
crease in the population of the Mississippi Valley caused an actual in 
crease in river shipments, notwithstanding the divergence of trade to the 
East. From 1830 to 1850 railroads were regarded largely as local feeders 
to river and canal, but after 1850 connections were completed between 
Chicago and the Atlantic coast and the trade of the Valley began, slowly 
at first, but with increasing rapidity, to leave the river route. Warning 
came in 1846, when, for the first time, flour and wheat receipts at Buffalo 
exceeded those at New Orleans. Little concern was felt in New Orleans 
at this shift in trade routes, since cotton was becoming more and more the 
chief economic reliance of the city. By 1850 it accounted for forty-five 
per cent of the total commerce. Along with the shift to cotton as a 
commercial staple went the trade in slaves, New Orleans becoming the 
greatest slave market in the country. 

Literature and the arts kept pace with economic and social develop 
ment, as New Orleans became the cultural center of the South. Opera 
flourished, theaters attracted European stars, artists abounded, and bon 
vivants thrived in a city which had already become famous for its fast 
and loose manner of living. Gambling, horse-racing, dueling, steamboat 
racing, and cock- and dog-fighting, in addition to the magnificence of 
balls, receptions, and Mardi Gras, made New Orleans, which was even 
then becoming a winter haven for well-to-do Northerners, a gay metrop 

History 29 

A new public-school system was put in effect in 1847, the State pro 
viding funds on the basis of educable children ranging in age from 6 to 
1 6 years. In 1848 approximately 7000 children attended the free schools, 
and by 1860 the number rose to 12,000. After 1850 the public-school 
system was enlarged to a great extent through the beneficence of John 

Yellow fever broke out sporadically in 1852, to reach epidemic pro 
portions in the following summer. At the height of this, the worst 
epidemic in the history of the city, barrels of tar were burned at the 
street corners and cannon were fired to purify the atmosphere, a practice 
which threw the sick into convulsions. Doctors and nurses toiled heroi 
cally, and many who might have fled from the city remained behind to 
volunteer their services. Money was contributed from all parts of the 
country. After Black Day, August 31, 1853, on which 230 deaths from 
fever were reported, the plague began to abate. The number of deaths 
from all causes between June and October is estimated to have exceeded 
11,000, yellow fever accounting for 7,189. 

The frequency with which yellow fever and cholera epidemics occurred 
and the abnormally high death rate (said to have been 100 per cent 
higher in 1849 than that of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Charles 
ton) gave New Orleans the reputation of being the graveyard of the 
Nation. Local pride, which persisted in regarding yellow fever as a 
strangers disease, a conception curiously borne out by the fact that 
very few natives were stricken by the malady (only 87 native-born 
Orleanians perished in 1853), caused the citizens to minimize the extent 
of the recurrent scourges, the attitude being taken that denial of its 
presence was the best cure for fever. Lack of underground sewers, the 
filthy condition of the streets, and pools of stagnant water, in which 
mosquitoes bred freely, were contributing factors which, though offset 
to some extent by quarantine regulations, continued to make yellow fever 
the greatest peril to the city. Only after the true origin of the disease 
was determined and efforts were made to control mosquito breeding, was 
New Orleans made a healthy city. 


Because it, more than any other city of the South, depended upon 
slavery and the cotton crop for prosperity, New Orleans had little 
choice when it became necessary to make a decision on the question of 

3O New Orleans : The General Background 

secession as the cotton States went the city had to follow. The small 
Union Party was silenced by the tide of circumstances. The much 
larger Co-operationist group likewise found its efforts futile after 
South Carolina forced the issue. Citizens of all opinions began preparing 
themselves for war after the State legislature adopted the ordinance 
of secession on January 26, 1861. A week later the Custom House and 
Mint in New Orleans were seized by the State militia. 

For more than a year the city saw no fighting. Instead of war there 
was preparation enlisting and equipping troops for action on distant 
fronts. Gold and silver disappeared, and Confederate money became the 
leading currency. The price of food and clothing rose as the value of 
money went down. The State had one paper issue, the city another. 
First there was a lack of currency and then a flood of shin-plasters ; 
merchants issued their own money, in which enterprising liquor dealers 
took the lead. A joke was current that you could pass the label of an 
olive-oil bottle because it was greasy, smelt bad, and bore an autograph. 

As the port of the Mississippi Valley, and an important source of 
supplies for the Confederacy, the city became the objective of a Federal 
offensive in 1862. With the intention of cutting the Confederacy in 
two by gaining control of New Orleans, a fleet of twenty-five wooden 
ships and nineteen mortar schooners, under Admiral David G. Farragut, 
a former citizen of New Orleans, passed through the mouth of the river 
and opened fire on Forts Jackson and St. Philip below the city. 

For five days and nights the unceasing bombardment continued from 
the mortar schooners situated at a bend in the river two miles below the 
forts. Although great damage was done to the forts, they continued 
firing, and Farragut, overruling his staff, decided to attempt a passage 
with his war vessels. At 2 A.M. on the morning of April 24, 1862, while 
the mortar schooners poured bombs into the fortifications, seventeen 
ships in three divisions began the hazardous ascent. Lack of fire-rafts, 
and the ease with which the great chain stretching across the river was 
broken, permitted the fleet to slip by. As the ships passed they poured 
broadside after broadside into the forts, which replied ineffectually. 
The Confederate boats in the river made a heroic effort to stay the ad 
vance, but the Federal armada was not to be stopped. 

After passing the fortifications at Chalmette without much difficulty, 
Farragut arrived at New Orleans in a pouring rain on April 25. Since 
General Lovell and his 3000 men had been dispatched elsewhere, the 
Federal forces had only the half -armed citizenry to fear. The city author 
ities refused to surrender, and Farragut threatened to open a bombard- 



_f ,,^LfcC.-n ..- 











in BP8I 





History 31 

ment, an act he was reluctant to perform. Crowds gathered in the streets 
shouting that they had been betrayed, and milled about in futile rage, 
committing senseless acts of violence. Cotton was tumbled out on the 
levees and set on fire, and ships lying at anchor were cut loose to drift 
down the river in flames. 

On May i, General Butler s troops marched into the city and assumed 
command. The municipal authorities were removed from office and 
Federal officers appointed in their place. The hand of a stern ruler was 
felt throughout the city. In an attempt to restrain any manifestation 
of the people against the Federal occupation a woman was sentenced to 
two years on Ship Island under Negro guards for laughing during the 
funeral of a Federal officer, and a man was given the same punishment 
for displaying a skeleton as that of a Union soldier. William Mumford, 
who had removed the United States flag from the Mint before the city had 
been surrendered, was tried by court-martial and hanged. Under the 
Woman s Order (No. 28), any woman who might by word, gesture, 
or movement show contempt for any officer or soldier was to be treated 
as a woman of the town plying her vocation. Special taxes were levied 
against those who had aided the Confederacy, and soldiers were sent to 
search the houses of citizens for arms; any slave offering information 
against his master in this respect was freed. All persons over eighteen 
years of age were required to take an oath of allegiance to the Federal 
Government or surrender their property and leave the city. 

Such acts, whatever may have been their justification, aroused the 
resentment of the whole Confederacy and led President Davis to decree 
that General Butler, should he be captured, was to be treated as an 
outlaw and hanged. Popular opinion in France and England was also 
affected, and pressure brought to bear in Washington was influential in 
bringing about General Butler s removal. He was succeeded by General 
Banks, who was more moderate in attitude. Under his direction a 
Union Government was formed for the State. 


The years between 1865 and 1877 were the blackest in the history of 
New Orleans. It was a period of violence, lawlessness, political agitation, 
and corruption. Politics, as the order of the day, colored and shaped 
every activity. Returning Confederate soldiers found Unionists in charge 

32 New Orleans : The General Background 

of all civic affairs. Negroes, bewildered by their new liberties and con 
stituting a threatening problem to the whites, crowded the city under the 
protection of the Freedmen s Bureau. Northern fortune-hunters de 
risively called Carpetbaggers were coming into the city daily and 
were fast taking possession of commercial as well as political vantage 
points. The Southerners, however, earnestly went to work to repair 
their shattered fortunes and regain their former place in the community. 
This they did successfully, in spite of poverty and dispossession. The 
Unionists fearing a return of the Southerners to power, and the Carpet 
baggers fearing that they might be ousted, took action which resulted in 
the massacre of July 30, 1866, at the Mechanics Institute, in which four 
white men and forty-four Negroes were killed and over one hundred and 
sixty others wounded. The Reconstruction Acts and the Fifteenth 
Amendment soon followed, and New Orleans became a city occupied by 
Federal troops under the ruthless control of General Phil Sheridan. 

City and State affairs were closely allied during the Reconstruction 
Period. During the War the City Hall had been the State Capitol, 
which was next moved to the Mechanics Institute on Dryades Street, 
and then to the old St. Louis Hotel, in 1872. The Democrats managed 
to retain control of the city government, although the State became Re 
publican with the election of Governor Warmoth in 1868. This control 
was soon taken from them by a new city charter establishing an admin 
istrative form of government and providing for the appointment by the 
Governor of all officials. 

The city was slow in recovering its former commercial advantages. 
Successive crop failures, as well as the increased advantage held by the 
Northern railroads, kept down the volume of commerce. River trade 
revived slowly but never again became what it was in ante-bellum days. 
Only one railroad the Jackson Road, afterwards the Illinois Central 
connected the city with the outside world. The extravagance of the 
city and State governments caused the bonded debt of the city to pile 
up rapidly. Tax collections were increasingly bad because of business 
conditions. Real-estate values declined steadily, and empty stores were 
to be seen in every block. Work and money were scarce, and floods of 
local paper money complicated the situation. White people were com 
pelled to adjust themselves to the strange experience of living under 
Negro officials and Negro police, and were also required to associate 
with them on an equal footing in restaurants, railroad cars, and schools. 
It cannot be said that the white population adjusted itself very grace 
fully to these conditions; it practically abandoned the public schools to 

History 33 

the Negroes, education receiving a setback that required years to remedy. 

The political situation went steadily from bad to worse. The Republi 
cans began fighting among themselves because Governor Warmoth proved 
too moderate to please their aims. Fights, often resulting in fatalities, 
occurred at every election. Administrations were installed and ousted at 
the City Hall by military edict regardless of election results, while crowds 
milled about in Lafayette Square. Voting was an adventure surrounded 
with menacing dangers; getting the vote counted was quite as bad. 
Gambling houses and low dives ran wide open on the main streets, and 
to walk through the streets at night was to invite trouble. Dan Byerly, 
manager of the Bulletin, met ex-Governor Warmoth on Canal Street 
one day and attacked him with a cane. Warmoth clinched, and in 
the resulting fight stabbed Byerly to death. Violence and robbery were 
daily occurrences, and the city seemed doomed and hopeless. 

The Crescent White League, an organization military in character, 
was formed in June, 1874, for the defense of white rights against Negro 
aggression. A call was issued for a gathering of citizens at the Clay 
Statue on Canal Street on the morning of September 14, 1874, where 
plans were made to take possession of the city and State governments, 
thus once and for all breaking the power of the Metropolitan Police. 
The crowd dispersed to reassemble in the afternoon with arms and equip 
ment at their headquarters at Camp and Poydras Streets. General 
Longstreet stationed his Metropolitan Police at vantage points in Jackson 
Square and around the Custom House, the main body taking position 
under General Badger at the head of Canal Street. Governor Kellogg 
sought safety in the Custom House, where a company of United States 
soldiers was quartered. 

The White League forces formed in Poydras Street, and a large body 
under General Behan advanced down the levee at four o clock. General 
Badger saw them coming and opened artillery fire. Having no artillery 
of their own, the "White Leaguers charged and in a few minutes cleared 
Canal Street of Metropolitan Police. The White Leaguers swept on 
around the Custom House and drove the police back to Jackson Square. 
Both sides remained armed during the night, and in the morning the 
police surrendered the State House, Arsenal, and Jackson Square. The 
White Leaguers suffered twenty-one killed and nineteen wounded; the 
Kellogg forces, eleven killed and sixty wounded. Liberty Monument, 
around which the street-cars turn at the foot of Canal Street, marks 
the site of the battle and commemorates the valor of those who fought 
in it. 

34 New Orleans: The General Background 

Victory was short-lived, and although Lieu tenant- Governor Penn was 
installed in the State House by jubilant citizens on the afternoon of the 
fifteenth, President Grant immediately sent reinforcements and demanded 
the reinstatement of Kellogg without delay. Governor McEnery promptly 
complied upon his return to the city on September 17. The full fruits of 
victory were not enjoyed by the White Leaguers until two years later, 
when on April 24, 1877, Governor Francis T. Nicholls was given possession 
of the State House (the act is said to have been the result of Louisiana s 
casting of the deciding electoral votes in Hayes s favor), and the carpet 
bag politicians were deprived of power and removed to other fields of 
action. The White League was then disbanded. 


After the Civil War the city boundaries expanded rapidly. The city 
of Lafayette had been absorbed in 1852, and Algiers and Jefferson City 
were annexed in 1870 as the fifth and sixth districts; two years later Car- 
rollton became the seventh district, rounding out the present boundaries 
of the city and parish. 

The Faubourg Ste. Marie extended at first only to Delord Street 
(Howard Avenue), but soon reached Felicity Road. The city of Lafayette 
began at Felicity Road and extended to Toledano Street, from which 
line Jefferson City extended to Upperline Street. Several plantations, 
including the present Audubon Park, lay between Jefferson City and 
Carroll ton, which began at Lowerline Street. These boundaries included 
many smaller communities such as Hurstville, Greenville, and Burthville. 

The city developed much more slowly toward the lake because the 
swamp had to be cleared and drained. Bayou Road led to the old French 
settlements on Bayou St. John near the present head of Esplanade 
Avenue. Faubourg Treme developed back of Congo Square in the 1830*5, 
and the building of the Pontchartrain Railroad in 1831 developed 
Elysian Fields Avenue and Milneburg. There was also a road along 
Bayou St. John to Spanish Fort. In the i84o s Common Street was the 
chief road to the cemeteries and Metairie Race Track. A bridge crossed 
the New Basin Canal at this point and a shell road, a favorite speedway, 
led to Lake End (now West End). Until about 1858 Canal Street still 
had an old plank-covered canal from Claiborne on, and was slow in de 

History 35 

The present thickly settled Dryades Market section was a swamp 
with a dirty shallow lake called Gormley s Basin until about 1870. All 
of the residential sections of the city beyond Claiborne Avenue, with 
the above exceptions, were swamp tracts and dairy farms until the drain 
age system was built and their development began about 1900. 

In 1878 the city was again visited by its ancient and devastating scourge 
yellow fever. Panic ensued as thousands of inhabitants left the city 
for the Gulf Coast. The mortality rate among children was pitiable 
in one block there were 105 cases, with an average of five deaths per day. 
In all more than 3800 people died. 

After five years of brilliant effort, in 1879 Captain James B. Eads 
succeeded in overcoming the greatest single obstacle in the commercial 
development of New Orleans shallow water at the mouth of the 
Mississippi. A depth of from twenty-six to thirty feet was secured by 
a system of jetties which forced the current to deepen its channels and 
carry the silt out into the Gulf of Mexico. Incidentally, this was ac 
complished along lines similar to those proposed by Adrien de Pauger 
more than one hundred and fifty years before. 

After the jetties proved successful, railroad expansion began. Legisla 
tive franchises for railroads being obtained, new lines were constructed. 
Rates favored the railroads, and the steamboat business, although active 
and important up to the Spanish-American War, steadily declined. Five 
large trunk lines entered New Orleans by 1880, and a new era in the com 
mercial development of the city began. The volume of railroad business 
increased from 937,634 tons in 1880 to 5,500,000 tons in 1899. 

In 1882 Canal Street was illuminated by electric lights. Royal 
Street came next in 1884, while the system was extended to include 
practically the entire city in 1886. 

In 1884 and 1885 the Cotton Centennial Exposition, popularly called 
the World s Fair/ was held in New Orleans on the present site of Audu- 
bon Park. Hundreds of thousands of visitors were drawn to the city. 
The Exposition did much to bring about a better understanding between 
the North and South, and gave an added impetus to the city s fast 
recovering commerce. 

In 1892 the first electric street-car was operated along St. Charles 
Avenue. Within a year or so several electric lines were in sendee, sup 
planting the horse cars which had been used for years. 

The legislature of 1868, which was made up almost entirely of carpet 
baggers, had granted a twenty-five-year charter to the Louisiana Lottery, 
in exchange for a yearly payment of $40,000 to the New Orleans Charity 

36 New Orleans : The General Background 

Hospital. Renewal of this charter became a major political issue. It 
was felt that the proposed fee of $1,000,000, to be paid to the State 
annually was not sufficient for the privileges of running what was generally 
conceded to be a gold mine, to which the company replied that 93 per 
cent of its revenue was drawn from sources outside of Louisiana. An 
article granting the company a three-year lease was put into the State 
Constitution in 1892, but the lottery was definitely outlawed by both 
the Federal and State Governments in 1895, after which it operated in 
Honduras as; the Honduras Lottery Company. 

Between 1890 and 1895 a semi-private organization called the Sewer 
age and Drainage Company undertook the construction and operation 
of the city s first extensive system of sewage disposal. The company went 
into receivership in 1895, however, and that important phase of public 
improvement lagged for several years. 


The birth of the twentieth century marked the start of an era of 
prosperity and municipal development for New Orleans. The Federal 
census of 1900 disclosed a population of 287,104; one hundred years 
of growth had seen the number of the city s inhabitants increase by more 
than 2800 per cent. Total commerce in 1900 was valued at $430,724,621. 
Many changes were in evidence : the river passes had been brought under 
control; the steamboat had yielded first place to the railroad, the bulk 
of all freight now arriving in New Orleans by rail; export shipments were 
carried mainly in foreign ships; and a large proportion of freight was de 
livered directly to the steamship side and reshipped without the necessity 
of the old style of rehandling on the levee. 

Along with commercial and industrial expansion came labor disputes 
and serious strikes. In 1902 there occurred a violent dispute between 
the various street-car companies operating in the city and their employees. 
The trouble was brought about through the introduction of a. larger 
type of car and a change in schedule which enabled the companies to 
dispose of a large number of men. The street-car men, interpreting the 
action as a direct violation of a previous agreement, walked out on 
strike on September 27, demanding that the discharged men be returned 
to their jobs, the working day be reduced to eight hours, and an hourly 
wage of twenty-five cents be paid. In the fifteen-day strike that ensued, 

History 37 

public sympathy was, for the most part, on the side of the strikers. 
Using buggies, wagons, automobiles, and improvised vehicles, the citi 
zens boycotted the street-cars. No violence occurred until October 8, 
when the companies attempted to run four cars under police guard with 
strike-breakers imported from the Middle West. Strikers attacked the 
cars at Galvez and Canal Streets and quickly put them out of commis 
sion, several men being injured in the disturbance. Street-car service 
was finally resumed with the work day fixed at ten hours, the hourly 
wage at twenty cents, and only such men as were necessary to operate 
the larger cars taken back into the company. 

Another serious strike occurred in 1907, when 8000 dockworkers 
walked out on a strike which began when screwmen demanded that the 
stowage of 160 bales of cotton should constitute a day s work for which 
they should be paid six dollars instead of the old pay of five dollars for 
the stowage of 250 bales. Numbers of strike-breakers were imported from 
outside cities. However, a few concessions were won by the strikers. 

The year 1907 saw the completion of the magnificent publicly owned 
water purification and pumping plant which still serves the city. In 
1908 another important step in municipal ownership was taken when 
the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad was constructed. Efficient and 
economical operation soon effected material reductions in former ex 
cessive switching and handling charges. Two large girls schools, the 
Sophie B. Wright and John McDonogh High Schools, were built in 1911, 
costing $195,777 an d $188,037 respectively. Crowded conditions which 
had prevailed for some time were greatly relieved. Warren Easton High 
School for boys was completed in 1913, at a cost of $311,000. 

Radical changes were made in the form of the city government in 1912. 
The aldermanic system was done away with and the commission form 

A tropical hurricane of great intensity struck the city and vicinity 
on September 29, 1915. The wind attained a speed of from 80 to no 
miles per hour, while 8.36 inches of rain fell within 21 hours. The waters 
of Lake Pontchartrain overflowed into the city. During the succeeding 
fifteen days more than twenty-two inches of rain fell, seriously handi 
capping the drainage and sewerage systems. Property damage ran into 
the millions and scores were injured, but only one person was killed. 

Shortly after the United States entered the World War several im 
portant military camps were established in New Orleans. The largest 
of these was located on the site of the old City Park racetrack, where 
thousands of soldiers were quartered and trained. Various civic organiza- 

38 New Orleans : The General Background 

tions led the citizenry in a patriotic and full-hearted response to the 
Government s appeal for money and military supplies. The influenza 
epidemic of 1918 and 1919 was at its height when the Armistice was 
signed. Thousands were stricken at times the death toll reached 
one hundred daily. 

In 1921 the New Orleans Inner-Harbor Navigation Canal, connecting 
Lake Pontchartrain with the Mississippi River, was completed at a 
cost approximating $20,000,000. This waterway is now an important 
link in the intracoastal canal system. 


As the center of many activities of the late Huey P. Long, former 
governor (1928-1932) and United States Senator (1932-1935), New 
Orleans witnessed the rise and tragic fall of perhaps its most colorful 
citizen since Bernardo de Galvez. Soon after being elected governor, 
he built up one of the most powerful political machines in the history 
of the United States, and in the face of almost incredible obstacles was 
enabled, by pure force of personality, to put over much of his somewhat 
radical program. His endorsement of a candidate for local or state posi 
tions was tantamount to election, and his power over the State legisla 
ture made it possible for him to secure passage of his entire legislative 

His career as virtual dictator of Louisiana was marked by extremely 
bitter political strife. On one occasion (August, 1934) the militia had to 
be called out to prevent the seizure of the Orleans Parish registration 
office by a rival faction headed by Mayor T. Semmes Walmsley, who 
employed a hundred special policemen to hold his position. For weeks 
the public was treated to the sight of militia and police, both heavily 
armed with rifles and machine guns, swarming about the registration 
office and the City Hall opposite. To enliven the opera bouffe, radical 
groups of the city staged a demonstration of unemployed in Lafayette 
Square, demanding that the thousands of dollars being expended daily 
in political buffoonery be used to relieve unemployment. Long was 
finally victorious, and the registration office was reopened under his super 

To Long, who was assassinated in Baton Rouge September 8, 1935, 
New Orleans is indebted in a large measure for its extremely modern 



Shushan Airport, extensive lake-front development, magnificent Huey 
P. Long Bridge, enlarged Charity Hospital, the Louisiana State Univer 
sity Medical Center, and free school books in the public schools. 


In common with other cities throughout the country, New Orleans 
suffered from the unprecedented economic depression following 1929. 
Until 1933 the city and State governments struggled to relieve the suf 
fering incident to wholesale unemployment. Social and welfare agencies 
were overtaxed, and the problem facing the people was greater than 
the local government could meet. Upon President Franklin D. Roose 
velt s inauguration, prompt and efficient measures were taken to relieve 
the situation and various New Deal agencies (C.W.A., E.R.A., F.E.R.A., 
W.P.A., and P.W.A.) were set up to carry on the work of relief. Among 
the improvements undertaken in the city were the preservation and 
restoration of some of the fine old buildings in the Vieux Carre, extension 
of the lake-front development, remodeling of the French Market, ex 
tensive street paving, and beautification of parkways and parks. 


THE city of New Orleans received its first charter under the American 
regime from the legislature of the Territory of Orleans, in 1805. Since 
then the charter has been revised many times. The last important re 
vision was in 1912, when the system of government was changed from 
the aldermanic to the commission form. Since the boundaries of the 
city and Orleans Parish are identical there is some duplication of activity 
with the various city and parish agencies, though not so much as might 
be supposed. An analysis of the present city charter reveals a definite 
decentralization of authority no official has complete freedom of 

The city is divided into seven municipal districts and seventeen wards. 
Under the present commission plan, a mayor and four commissioners 
are elected every four years, and constitute the Commission Council, 
the city s legislative body. 

The five principal city departments, presided over by the Mayor and 
four commissioners, at the historic City Hall, 543 St. Charles Street, are 
as follows: 

(1) Department of Public Affairs, presided over by the Mayor, has 
charge of the city s legal affairs, civil service, and publicity. 

(2) Department of Public Finance, directed by the Commissioner of 
Finance, controls receipts, expenditures, assessments, and accounts. 

(3) Department of Public Safety, presided over by the Commissioner 
of Public Safety, supervises the police, fire, and health departments 
and has charge of municipal charity and relief agencies. 

(4) Department of Public Utilities, directed by the Commissioner of 
Public Utilities, supervises the franchising and control of utilities 

(5) Department of Public Property, directed by the Commissioner 

Government 41 

of Public Property, has charge of all public property streets, 
parks, playgrounds, buildings, etc. 

In addition several major activities are handled by independent boards 
and commissions such as the Sewerage and Water Board, Public Belt 
Railroad Commission, Orleans Parish School Board, Board of Liquida 
tion of the City Debt, and a number of smaller commissions such as the 
Parking, Playground, Public Library, City Park, etc. 

The Orleans Levee Board and the Board of Commissioners of the 
Port of New Orleans (Dock Board) function almost wholly within the 
city, but are under complete control of the State. 
The judicial department of the city is made up of: 

Recorder s (Police) Courts (four judges, appointed). 
City Courts (civil cases only, four judges, elective). 
Juvenile Court (one judge, elective). 
Civil District Courts (Orleans Parish constitutes an 

entire district, five judges, elective). 
Criminal District Courts (five judges, elective). 

The city seal, in much its present design, dates from February 17, 1805, 
at which time the Legislative Council of the Territory of Orleans author 
ized the Mayor of New Orleans to procure and use a seal on all official 
acts and documents. After the city divided into three separate munici 
palities in 1836 each subdivision adopted a seal of its own. A common 
seal, probably that in use today, was adopted with the reunion in 1852 of 
the municipalities. A description of the seal and an explanation of its 
symbolism are lacking. Below and partly within the semicircular in 
scription City of New Orleans an Indian brave and maiden stand on 
each side of a shield, upon which a recumbent nude figure is shown salut 
ing the sun rising above mountains and sea. Above the shield are twenty- 
five circularly grouped stars, and below, an alligator. 

The official flag of New Orleans, designed by Bernard Barry and Gus 
Couret and previously accepted by the Citizens Flag Committee of the 
Bienville Bi-centenary Celebration, was adopted by the Commission 
Council on February 8, 1918. It consists of a white field embellished with 
three golden fleur-de-lys; a crimson stripe at the top and a blue at the 
bottom, each one-seventh of the flag s width, form borders. The flag was 
dedicated at the City Hall, February 9, 1918, with appropriate ceremonies. 
The oleander (Nerium oleander) was adopted by the Commission 
Council of New Orleans, June 6, 1923, as the city s flower. Cuttings of 
this plant, brought to the city from Havana at the time of the Spanish 
Domination, were planted in patio gardens after the fires of 1788 and 

New Orleans : The General Background 

1794. Since that time oleanders have been prominent among the plants 
in the city, conspicuously so in the old gardens laid out at Carrollton in 
1835, and at West End and Spanish Fort. At present, they are found in 
the city parks, in private gardens, and along the neutral grounds of many 



THE melting pot has been simmering in New Orleans for over two 
centuries, and the present-day Orleanian is a composite of many differ 
ent racial elements. Intermarriage has broken down distinctions and 
destroyed the boundaries of racial sections. With a few minor excep 
tions, there are no longer any districts occupied exclusively by one group. 

The United States Census of 1930 gives the population of New Orleans 
as 458,762, of which 327,729 are whites and 129,632 Negroes. The total 
white foreign-born population is placed at 19,681, and the native whites 
of foreign or mixed parentage at 65,766, or about one-fourth of the total 
white population. Of these the predominating racial groups, in the order 
of their numerical importance, are the Italian, German, Irish, English, 
Scotch and Scotch-Irish, and the Jewish groups from Russia, Poland, 
and Austria. Almost every nation of the earth is represented by a few 
people at least. A census estimate for July 1936 places the population 
at 482,466. 

In the last century the city was divided into racial districts. The 
Creoles occupied the Vieux Carre and the sections adjoining Esplanade 
Avenue as far as Bayou St. John. The Americans developed Faubourg 
Ste. Marie and Lafayette, extending from Canal to Toledano Street. 
The Germans settled mostly in the Third District, below Esplanade 
Avenue. The Irish occupied the river-front sections immediately above 
and below Jackson Avenue, giving to that section the familiar name of 
Irish Channel, and the district between the New Basin and Canal 
Street extending out Tulane Avenue as far as Broad Street. 

Intermarriage and changes in circumstances resulted in the removal 
of many from these racial groups into other neighborhoods. Some still 
live in the old neighborhoods, but their new neighbors are of every 
conceivable national mixture. 

Some of the Creole families cling to their old quarter, but the Vieux 
Carre, especially around the French Market, is now an Italian district, 
and Esplanade Avenue has many non-Creole elements in its population. 

44 New Orleans : The General Background 

The Irish Channel is no longer Irish, and the Germans of the Third 
District are pretty well scattered. A small Chinese center exists on Tulane 
Avenue, between Rampart Street and Elk s Place, but the members of 
the Chinese colony live where their places of business are located. Ca- 
rondelet Street, from Jackson to Louisiana Avenue, is the street of the 
Orthodox Jews. A few Filipinos have a center on Dumaine Street near 
the French Market, and a small colony of Greeks center their activities 
in the Greek Church at 1222 North Dorgenois Street. The Spanish, 
French, and Latin-Americans have national clubs, but their homes are 
to be found in the various residential sections. There are also groups 
of Scandinavians and Czechs in small centers, but no special settlements. 
The Negroes account for more than one-fourth of the entire urban 
population. While scattered all over the city, they are most numerous 
in the district between Rampart Street and Claiborne Avenue and Canal 
Street and Louisiana Avenue. South Rampart, just off Canal, is the 
largest Negro shopping district. Magnolia Street, between Howard and 
Jackson Avenues, and the Dryades Market district around Dryades and 
Felicity Streets, are lively Negro centers. Large settlements are also 
to be found along the levee above Lowerline Street, on Burgundy Street 
in the French Quarter, and in the neighborhood of Claiborne Avenue and 
Orleans Street. 

CENSUS or 1930 

Foreign-Born Whites ^^^ 

Austrian 3*4 865 

Canadian 468 1,090 

Czechoslovakian 85 156 

English 1,428 5,498 

French 1,838 9,648 

German 2,159 i5953 

Greek 34* 3" 

Hungarian 53 IO 7 

Irish 647 6,115 

Italian 6,821 17,190 

Lithuanian 12 n 

Polish 408 548 

Russian 9 8 5 ^464 

Scandinavian 821 1,181 

Spanish 479 I >626 

Yugoslavian 13 221 

All others 3,171 5,4o8 

Total 20,160 67,392 

Total white population 327,729 Total Negro population 129,632 
The total population of the city is 458,762. The difference between this figure and 
the total of whites and Negroes (1401) is apparently represented by other races. 




FOR the first 150 years of its existence New Orleans was almost wholly 
a commercial city, and indeed is primarily so today. The first European 
dream of commercial greatness for Louisiana must have been inspired 
in 1705, by the arrival in France of daring Canadian voyageurs with 
fifteen thousand bear and deer skins obtained through barter with the 
Indians. But New Orleans made negligible progress commercially under 
France, owing in part to the fact that the colonists were permitted to do 
business only with that country; to France, New Orleans proved a 
liability rather than an asset. Although the city fared somewhat better 
under the Spanish, abortive restrictions confining trade to certain ports 
of Spain further retarded expansion for many years. During that period 
there sprang up an extensive illegal traffic with the British, and later 
with the Americans. 

The Colonial Period saw lumber, pitch, tar, rice, indigo, cotton, 
tobacco, sassafras, fur pelts, and toward its close sugar exchanged 
for slaves and European merchandise; the pelts were obtained from 
Indians of the Illinois country in exchange for firearms, knives, and 
brandy; tobacco and lumber from Kentucky pioneers who floated their 
products down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, braving 
currents, river pirates, and unfriendly Indians. 

New Orleans commerce began to make tremendous strides with the 
lifting of trade restrictions incident to the Louisiana Purchase (1803) 
and with the advent of the steamboat (1812), which solved the problem 
of upstream navigation. By 1840 New Orleans was contesting with 
New York for first honors in point of import and export volume, with 
cotton, grain, sugar, and slaves forming the bulk of trade. Then, with 
the increase of east-west traffic via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, 
and the competition of the country s fast-expanding railroad system, 
the growth of river traffic was arrested. The economic, political, and 
social chaos of the Civil War and Reconstruction Periods not only 

48 Economic and Social Development 

hampered progress but resulted in much lost ground; it was not until 
after the turn of the twentieth century that New Orleans regained its 
former commercial importance. Today it is one of the leading ports of 
the nation. 

Ships flying the flags of every maritime nation, and a dozen railroad 
systems play a part in New Orleans vast world commerce. Cotton and 
lumber are the principal foreign exports, just as they were a century ago; 
coffee, sugar, vegetable oils, and bananas head the imports. 

Commercial Statistics for New Orleans, 1935 

Imports Value Exports Value 

Coffee $29,003,347 Cotton (raw) $75,299,368 

Sugar 25,648,466 Lumber and mill work 12,611,541 

Vegetable oils 8,525,168 Machinery and parts 10,451,693 

Bags and bagging 7,586,569 Tobacco 8,153,731 

Bananas and plantains 7,247,950 Cotton manufactures 4,695,266 
Sisal and other fiber 4,127,778 

Receipts Shipments 

Foreign $110,798,951 Foreign $156,014,128 

Coastwise 124,248,643 Coastwise 126,879,688 

Internal 100,218,423 Internal 104,293,420 

$335,266,017 $387,187,236 


New Orleans first ventures into industrial fields were in connection 
with the manufacture of articles such as bricks, tile, boats, and mill 
work, which because of their bulk, weight, or other reasons com 
manded prohibitive prices when imported from Europe, and for which 
raw materials were available in Louisiana. 

The contempt with which the Creoles viewed manual occupations and 
the consequent shortage of skilled labor were no small retarding factors 
in development along industrial lines. Eventually, despite these and other 
deterrents, an advantageous climate, abundance of raw materials, and 
the infusion of American enterprise as well as capital resulted in more 
efficient utilization of the vast natural resources upon which New Orleans 
could draw. The city may be said not to have entered fully upon its 
industrial phase until the beginning of the twentieth century. 

New Orleans industrial growth during the past three decades has been 
due in large part to almost perfect co-ordination of transportation 

Commerce, Industry, and Labor 49 

agencies railroads, coastwise and foreign steamship services, and inland 
waterways. The expansion has been reflected in diversification rather 
than specialization. 

The city boasts, with perhaps pardonable pride, several industrial 
* firsts and seconds : what is said to be the world s largest twine mill 
and the second largest sugar refinery, as well as the South s largest 
furniture factory and syrup-canning plant. Eighty per cent of the coun 
try s men s washable suits and half its industrial alcohol are manufactured 
in New Orleans. 

In the city are twelve hundred factories, large and small, turning out 
nine hundred different products with a total annual valuation of $325,- 
000,000; sugar heads the list, pouring $60,000,000 into New Orleans 
pocketbooks annually, with celotex, a sugarcane by-product used as a 
lumber substitute, bringing in an extra $12,000,000; the manufacture 
of bags, burlap, and cotton textiles, with a yearly value of $17,300,000, 
is second; next come cottonseed products, $17,000,000; the production 
of commercial alcohol in a multitude of manufacturing processes, $16,000,- 
ooo; petroleum products, $12,000,000; baking, $11,000,000; clothing, 
$10,000,000; coffee-roasting and packing, $9,000,000; mahogany, $6,000,- 
ooo; rice milling, and the manufacture of roofing materials and fertilizer 
are all in the million-dollar class. 

These various industries account for little more than half the total: 
countless lesser industries, individually small but important in the 
aggregate, bring to New Orleans the remaining $160,700,000. 


New Orleans was founded on a system of slave labor, and continued so 
for almost a century and a half. In addition to Negro slaves there were 
at the first redemptioners Germans who had voluntarily bound 
themselves to work for a period of years in payment for their passage to 
Louisiana and Indian prisoners of war. The lot of the individual slave 
varied with the character of his master, who though under some legal 
restraint, tended in practice to be sole ruler. The slaves were prohibited, 
of course, from open organization for the betterment of their condition. 

The whites predominantly of French and Spanish extraction 
looked with disdain upon any mode of gaining a livelihood involving 
manual effort. And, indeed, in the semi-tropical climate manual labor 
was particularly arduous. 

50 Economic and Social Development 

Following upon the heels of the Louisiana Purchase (1803) skilled 
workers were attracted to New Orleans from other parts of the United 
States, and soon set about organizing themselves into trade unions. The 
first to be formed was a typographical union, in 1 8 10; in 1837 members 
of this group went on strike for a reduction of the working day from six 
teen to twelve hours. Their success gave impetus to the union movement, 
for in 1838 a carpenters union was formed and by 1852 nearly all the 
skilled trades had some form of organization. 

Abolition of slavery and the aftermath of social and economic con 
fusion served as temporary setbacks to the union movement. But from 
the chaos arose the Knights of Labor, the first mass labor movement in 
New Orleans. Upon its organization, the American Federation of Labor 
drew much support from the Knights of Labor ranks, eventually dis 
placing it. 

The racial problem has proven a difficult one to organized labor, the 
color line being carefully drawn in some instances, and in others not at 
all. As early as 1880, particularly among the dock-workers units, mixed 
unions were admitted to the Trades and Labor Assembly, and today 
the building trades unions have dual membership, but in the present-day 
Trades and Labor Council only white delegates are seated. In unions 
such as the bricklayers , cement finishers , and plasterers , Negro mem 
bership is in the majority. The dock-workers have separate divisions 
for Negro and white members under the same charter. 

A number of strikes, both minor and serious, have marked the progress 
of the labor movement in New Orleans. Among the more serious have 
been those of the street-car men in 1902, 1920, and 1929; the longshore 
men in 1907, 1918, 1923, and 1935; and the taxicab drivers in 1927. 

Organized labor in New Orleans has instituted and supported much 
legislation pertaining to factory inspection, safety devices, workingmen s 
compensation, and other occupational regulatory laws. 

There are today 113 unions in New Orleans, embracing virtually every 
trade, from Trappers and Fishermen s Local 18408 to Iron Workers 
Local 58. 


PROBABLY no settlement in America faced fewer difficulties in trans 
portation in Colonial days than New Orleans. Located near the Gulf of 
Mexico, in a section traversed by dozens of navigable lakes, rivers, and 
bayous, the pioneer settlers soon developed a network of waterways ex 
tending in every direction. On their penetration of the lower Mississippi 
Valley in 1699 the French found the Indians utilizing Louisiana s count 
less waterways as the principal means of transportation, and, instead of 
constructing roads throughout the region, the colonists followed the ex 
ample set by the natives, thereby gaining a distinct commercial advantage 
over other settlements along the coast. 

From the Indian tribes the French settlers borrowed the idea of the 
pirogue, or dug-out canoe, building them on an increasingly larger scale 
until some are said to have had a displacement of 50 tons. To build the 
pirogues great cottonwood and cypress trees were felled, the logs hollowed 
by burning, and their exteriors shaped to conform with the basic lines 
of half a watermelon. While the giant pirogue admirably suited the needs 
of the French, the scarcity of sufficiently large trees led to the creation 
of other types of boats. As early as 1 700 Iberville ordered the construction 
of light bateaux plats, or flat boats, on which large quantities of buffalo 
hides, wool, and furs were freighted from various points in the Missis 
sippi Valley down the river to the Gulf of Mexico. 

By 1742 the keel boat had come into use. This craft, from sixty to 
seventy feet long, and with a beam of fifteen to eighteen feet, drew only 
twenty to thirty inches of water. Near the close of the French Domina 
tion the radeaUj a boat resembling the flatboat, made its appearance, 
and came to be used extensively for carrying freight on the Mississippi 
and its tributaries. 

52 Economic and Social Development 

Until about the middle of the nineteenth century radeaux were used 
by the settlers of the upper Mississippi Valley as the principal means of 
transporting hides, corn, wheat, livestock, lumber, and whisky. The 
levees at New Orleans were lined with these picturesque craft, whose 
standard signal, indicating that the proprietor was ready to do business, 
was a bottle of whisky strung up on a pole. Brokers would then make 
bids for the entire outfit, including the flatboat itself, which was dis 
mantled for its lumber. Everything disposed of, the up-country pioneer 
usually embarked upon two or three weeks of hard drinking and celebra 
tion before beginning the long trek afoot to his Missouri, Illinois, Ken 
tucky, or Tennessee home. 

Although there were several kinds of boats in use by the close of the 
eighteenth century, all were propelled in much the same manner, usually 
by poles, oars, or sails, both upstream and downstream. Sails exclusively 
were used whenever possible, but could not be depended upon for a river 
voyage. Numerous difficulties were encountered in coaxing a clumsy 
keel or flatboat up a winding river against both wind and current. The 
time required for a trip from New Orleans to the Illinois country varied 
from three to four months, but the return trip could be made downstream 
in twelve or fifteen days. Such voyages were for many years extremely 
dangerous, savage Indians and white river pirates lurking around every 
other bend. 

As commerce increased the problem of upstream navigation became 
more and more acute. One attempt was made to propel a boat upstream 
by means of horses walking a treadmill, but between New Orleans and 
Natchez several horses were completely broken down, and the idea was 

The problem was finally solved in January 1812, when the first steam 
boat ever to be seen on the Mississippi River arrived, amid great excite 
ment, in New Orleans. The boat, with a three-hundred-ton capacity 
and a low-pressure engine, was built in Pittsburgh for Fulton and Living 
ston of New York, at a cost of approximately $38,000, and was named 
the Orleans, in honor of her destination. On her maiden voyage down the 
Ohio and Mississippi Rivers the banks were lined at times with startled 
spectators who stared in wonder at the rhythmical puffing of steam and 
the steady swish of paddles. The Orleans never returned north but 
was put into regular service between New Orleans and Natchez. Averag 
ing eight miles per hour downstream and three against the current, she 
continued in service until July 14, 1814. That night as she was lying at 
anchor in Baton Rouge the river began to fall suddenly and the boat 

Transportation 53 

settled upon a snag and sank. The engine was afterwards raised and 
transferred to another boat. 

In 1819 the first mailboat on the Mississippi, the Post Boy/ began 
operating between New Orleans and Louisville. During the next few 
years improvements and refinements in river steamers steadily increased ; 
the whistle, the gangway, multiple engines, and finally electricity to 
illuminate landings, dark channels, and the boats themselves were 
added. Large steamboats were in use before the Civil War. Paddle- 
wheels grew to a diameter of forty-five feet, and speed climbed to twenty 
miles per hour. Packets became floating palaces, featuring a cuisine 
prepared by skilled chefs, and carrying a full orchestra for the pleasure 
of their passengers. Travel by steamboat became popular with all 
classes planters, business men and their wives, adventurers, prostitutes, 
and professional gamblers. The golden day of the steamboat was the 
period from 1830 to 1860. Every year saw a tremendous increase in 
freight and passenger volume. The average life of a river boat was 
only four years, but profits were so large that the sinking or burning of 
a vessel was to the operators a mere incident, and such losses were casually 
set down to operating cost. 

One by one the luxurious packets disappeared. In their wake came 
towboats with a cargo tonnage equivalent to several hundred carloads 
of freight. During the World War the Government began operation of 
an extensive barge service on the Mississippi and Warrior Rivers. Rate 
protection against the railroads and completion of the final links in the 
Lakes-to-the-Gulf inland waterway system have greatly stimulated 
barge traffic during recent years. It is now possible for a tow of barges 
to go from New Orleans up the Mississippi River to any point on the 
Great Lakes, to New York City via the Erie Canal, and to Montreal, 
Canada, by way of the St. Lawrence River. 

Railroads have played almost as important a part in the development 
of New Orleans as have its facilities for water transportation. One of 
the first railroads to be completed in America and the first built west of 
the Alleghenies was established in New Orleans. In 1825 plans for the 
construction of a four-and-one-half-mile railway extending from New 
Orleans to Milneburg were discussed in the city, and in 1829 the Pont- 
chartrain Railroad Society was formed. 

A number of obstacles lay in the path of the company s directors, few 
of whom had ever seen a railroad, and none of whom had more than a 
vague idea of railway construction or operation. To complicate matters 
there seemed to be no experienced railroad engineer available. Innumer- 

54 Economic and Social Development 

able questions, such as whether the rails used should be of iron or cedar, 
and whether the newfangled steam engine was as reliable as the less 
picturesque horse, kept the directors in a quandary. In 1831, after a 
year of construction, the first train, drawn by horses, was run over the 
imperfect tracks. 

Many other difficulties beset the State s first railway venture. The 
most serious, perhaps, lay in the tracks, which consisted of strips or bars 
of iron spiked to stringers/ or cross ties of wood. These rails became 
known as snake-heads, and constituted a great peril to passengers and 
crew. The iron strips were wont to free themselves as the train passed 
over, and turn suddenly upward with sufficient force to pierce the floors 
of the cars, frightening seated passengers and sometimes throwing the 
train from the tracks. It is said that whenever the feeble locomotive 
broke down, the crew would hoist sails and bring the little train gliding 
into port, its sails flapping in the breeze. 

By 1852 additional lines were operating in and out of New Orleans, 
including the Carrollton Railroad, extending the six-mile stretch between 
New Orleans and Carrollton, a small community which later became a 
part of New Orleans. In this year, at a railroad convention held in 
New Orleans, the organization of large, country-wide lines was approved. 
By 1880 at least four such major lines were operating in and out of the 
city, connecting it with various points north and west. 

Airplanes made their appearance in New Orleans in the spring of 1910, 
when an exhibition flight was made at the City Park Race Track by 
Louis Taulhan. From December 24, 1910, to January 2, 1911, the first 
international aviation tournament to be held south of New York was 
conducted in New Orleans at City Park. Eight world-famous airmen/ 
two of whom were killed in crashes, participated in the meet. A record 
for the mile was set at fifty-seven seconds, and a height of 7125 feet was 
attained. In each of a series of match races an automobilist driving a 
Packard defeated aviator John Moisant by a margin of several seconds. 

The second official air-mail trip to be successfully completed in the 
United States was made between New Orleans and Baton Rouge by 
George Mestach on April 10, 1912; time, one hour and thirty-two seconds. 

The third airline in the country to carry foreign mail was established 
between New Orleans and Pilottown, at the mouth of the river, in 1923. 
This route, which provided a late dispatch of mails to connect with 
outgoing steamships and expedited delivery at New Orleans of mails 
from incoming ships, was discontinued in 1934. 

New Orleans is at present served by two well-lighted airways, by 

Transportation 55 

which overnight mail and passenger service is provided to Northern and 
Eastern cities, and regular daytime service to points west; the lines have 
terminals at the new Shushan Airport on Lake Pontchartrain. Scheduled 
flights are also maintained between New Orleans and cities in Mexico, 
and Central and South America. 

New Orleans, the junction of a new modern highway system, serves 
as the southern terminus of two national highways, US 51 and 61, and is 
served by east-west US 90. A number of paved State highways, with 
toll-free bridges, converge at New Orleans. The Pontchartrain Bridge 
(toll), a 4.78-mile highway bridge, furnishes a short cut across the lake. 
The Huey P. Long Bridge (toll-free for automobiles and pedestrians), 
nine miles above the city, is Louisiana s only span across the Mississippi 
and gives New Orleans an unbroken highway to the West. The city is 
served by ten trunk-line railroads, and a number of branch lines, which 
connect it with every important market in North America. Steamships 
from every quarter enter New Orleans, ninety lines with regular sailings 
connecting the port with all parts of the world. Five steamship com 
panies maintain regular passenger schedules, and many of the freighters 
plying in and out the city have passenger accommodations of a sort 
coastwise, tropical, and round-the-world. Harbor sightseeing excursions, 
with trained lecturers, are provided throughout the year out of New 
Orleans. Two companies operate air-cooled busses between New Orleans 
and all parts of the country. Street-cars and busses operate between all 
parts of the city, and ferries connect New Orleans with the west side of 
the river. Taxicabs are available at all large hotels and railroad and bus 
terminals, with numerous sub-stations scattered throughout the city. 
(See General Information.) 


R-R-R-R-R-RAMONAYI R-r-r-ramonez la chiminee du haul en bas! 
Sleepily you get up, and, pulling something around you, step out on the bal 
cony of your Vieux Carre studio of course if you live in the Vieux Carre 
you have a studio, even if your only art is drink-mixing. You rub your eyes 
and stare at the extraordinary creature who is emitting these blood-curd 
ling noises. He is a tall, unbelievably black Negro with crooked toes 
peeping out of shuffling shoes, nondescript trousers, a venerable frock- 
coat carrying the dirt of ages on its frayed threads, and cocked over one 
eye a stupendous top hat with most of the crown bashed in. He carries an 
unwieldy bundle containing a rope, a sheaf of broom straw, and several 
bunches of palmetto. Look at him closely. He is the last of his guild, a 
chimney sweeper; and it may be a long time before you see him again, for 
he and his compere, the coal peddler, who calls Mah mule is white, mah 
face is black; Ah sells mah coal two bits a sack! are rapidly being forced 
to retreat before the increasing popularity of gas heat. Adieu, ramoneur! 

Across the little iron guard-rail that separates your gallery from the 
one next door, a pleasant-looking chap wearing a white linen suit puffs 
a pipe with a philosophic air and surveys the scene below as if it all be 
longed to him. You crane your neck over the balcony to get a good look 
at the overflowing bundle of wash which a Negro woman balances on her 
head as she strides down the street, unconcernedly swinging her arms at 
her sides. Your neighbor views the sight unmoved. Curiosity gets the 
best of you. Have you been living here long? you ask. 

The coated one turns slowly. I ve lived here all my life. I m a Creole/ 
Possibly you had an idea that a Creole was a man of color. You realize 
now that this is not true. A Creole ! Well, well, well. You always wondered 
what Creoles looked like. This one, who is typical, is courteous, but rather 
distant. He seems to have forgotten all about you. 

How do they do it? 

Folkways 57 

1 What? 

Those bundles. How do they balance them on their heads? 

Oh, they ve always done that. They learn it when they are just able 
to walk. 

In a little while, down the street come the berry men and women. In 
season, the streets are overrun by them. Men always sell strawberries, 
women, blackberries, your all-knowing Creole friend says. Why? you 
ask. Ah, it has always been that way. When you get to know Creoles 
better, you realize that the phrase It has always been that way justifies 

Down the winding staircase you climb with your new friend, who has 
volunteered to show you around. You are in luck. It appears that be 
sides French, your Creole is fluent in the Negro-French patois, called 
Gombo, which is so different from standard French as to be unintelligible 
to any but a native of the city. 

A strange character, typical of a class of peddlers which has all but 
disappeared, rambles into view. You notice that he carries not only a 
bundle of clothespoles Long, straight clothespole ! but a bundle of 
palmetto root fibers Latanier! Latanier! Palmetto root! Your 
new friend, addressing him familiarly in Gombo, inquires where he has 
been, why he should be selling two articles. The old Negro answers, 
Me beezness, it so bad, I gotta eencriss ma stock. Poor Alphonse! No 
recovery in sight for you, my friend! People don t scrub their floors with 
palmetto root any more ; and as for clothespoles, the Laundry Syndicate 
has taken all the business from the black blanchisseuses who used to boil 
the family clothes in an old iron pot, and stir them with a well-worn piece 
of broomstick. 

You get to the corner of Royal and St. Peter Streets just in time to see 
a spasm band go into action. A spasm band is a miscellaneous collec 
tion of a soap box, tin cans, pan tops, nails, drumsticks, and little Negro 
boys. When mixed in the proper proportions this results in the wildest 
shuffle dancing, accompanied by a bumping rhythm. You flip them a coin, 
and they run after you offering to do tricks for lagniappe ; and without 
waiting your approval, one little boy begins to walk the length of the 
block on his hands, while another places the crown of his skull on a tin 
can and spins like a top. Lagniappe , your Creole explains, is a little gift 
the tradesmen present to their customers with each purchase. By exten 
sion, it means something extra, something for nothing. 

Look out! suddenly cries your friend, pulling you out of the way 
just as a tin bucket on the end of a rope dives from a third-story balcony. 

58 Economic and Social Development 

Oop! Excuse me, mister, cries the housewife on the balcony. I just 
wanted the grocery man to hear the bucket drop so s he d come out. 
The Creole explains that this clever little step-saving device is in common 
use among people living in third-floor apartments. Poun a coffee, she 
calls to the groceryman. You continue on your way resolved to keep 
your head out of the reach of Vieux Carre housewives tossing their home 
made dumb-waiters over iron railings. 

Soon there comes down the street a snowball wagon. It is a two- 
wheeled cart, with a canopy top, a bell, and a man who is both proprietor 
and motive power. In the bottom of the cart is a block of ice, and on each 
side gaudy syrup bottles. Flavors include strawberry, orange, lime, grape, 
pineapple, spearmint, and whatever ingenious special the vendor may 
concoct. A snowball is a lump of shaved ice drenched in one of the 
colored syrups, and served on a paper plate. Often the grimy-faced little 
customer requests variegation in his colors, and the effects achieved are 
startling to any but the trained Sicilian eye. The finished product has 
come to be regarded as a delicacy in New Orleans. The visitor must re 
member that real snowballs are seen in the city only once every forty or 
fifty years. 

Listen, you tell your Creole friend, all that is well and good, and no 
doubt very interesting in its place; but how about Voodoo? I came all the 
way to New Orleans to hear about Voodoo, and you talk about the 
weather. Back to the point, man. 

Eh bien says the Creole, heaving a sigh, and turning unwilling feet 
toward the Negro quarter near Claiborne Street. My friend, the Voodoo 
is a thing which has caused much trouble to us from earliest times. The 
Voodoo was brought here from Africa by the niggers our ancestors bought 
as slaves. And let me tell you, my friend, those early colonists, they had 
to keep a sharp eye out for trickery. Those Voodoo queens, they knew 
things no white man ever knew. They could make people die, have them 
buried, and raise them again two weeks or a month later. I know, be 
cause my grandfather told me a story that has always been told in our 

It seems that on the plantation of one of my ancestors I forget if it 
was grandfather s grandfather or his great-grandfather there was a 
mulatto woman, une negresse de toute beaute, a very beautiful woman, you 
understand. Here your Creole s voice drops to a confidential whisper 
he is going to take you into his confidence, let you hear one of the most 
jealously guarded of secrets. Obviously he likes you. Enemies of the 
family even said she was a half-sister of this ancestor who had inherited 

Folkways 59 

her from his father. In a duel, he had killed a man who had dared to hint 
the fact in a cabaret. But to get back to the mulattresse, she was a 
Mamaloi, a Voodoo queen, and her power was known up and down the 
river. One day she came to her master with the sad news that Ti Demon, 
the six-year-old son of one of the best laborers, had suddenly passed away. 
Slaves were always dying, it is true, but somehow this death was too sud 
den to please my ancestor. He asked to have the body brought to the big 
house, in order that he might see for himself. In the meantime, he sent for 
the family doctor in the city the plantation was near where Audubon 
Park is now, and was quickly reached in a pirogue who assured him 
that death, so far as he could see, was from natural causes. With appro 
priate ceremony, the slaves buried the child, while my ancestor went 
inside and erased his name from " Assets " and inscribed him under " Profit 
and Loss. " 

And where, you interrupt, is all this leading? 

4 Ah, the Creole points out, * that s just it. Two days later my ancestor, 
having nearly forgotten the incident, happened to think that St. John s 
Day was not far off. St. John s Eve, you know, is the great festival of the 
Voodoos. So the old fellow, being of an inquisitive turn of mind, went for 
a stroll in the most off-hand sort of way at about ten o clock on the festive 
night, with a sword-cane in his hand and two small double-barreled pistols 
in his pockets. After floundering about the cypress swamp for a while he 
noticed the glare of a small fire, and made for it. He heard muffled drums. 
Climbing a tree, he saw his mulattress in all her regal splendor, poising a 
cane-knife above a victim, who appeared drugged, but quite obviously 
alive. On closer inspection the victim proved to be the negrillon who had 
been buried a few days before. 

That s not very much of a story, you say. I knew how it would come 
out all the time. But tell me, how did the mulattress do it? And do they 
still sacrifice children? 

Ah, the Creole sighs, answering the last question first, if they do, the 
authorities had better never hear of it. And as for the resurrection, the 
old Voodoos distilled strange potions from herbs, the lore of which was 
handed down from their African forbears. They have forgotten most of 
that now, but they are still clever with hypnotism and allied arts. They 
really do conjure a person and make him waste away, but it isn t the 
charm that does it, and most of them know it. The resurrection trick was 
done with a poison that induced a coma so deep that it exhibited all signs 
of death, even to cooling of the body and rigor mortis. The resurrected 
victims reason is definitely impaired, and if they are allowed to live, have 

60 Economic and Social Development 

neither will nor intelligence. They are docile, and apparently healthy 
enough, however. In Haiti, they are the zombies you have heard about. 

Well, now you become a little more interesting, my friend. I d like to 
hear more about this. 

But he retires into his shell, a trick all Creoles have, even when speaking 
to people they like, and you fear you have heard all you will about Voo 
doo. By this time, you have reached the Negro quarter and have well 
penetrated it. Occasionally you pass an old crone, sitting on her well- 
scrubbed stoop, who thoughtfully puffs a corncob pipe and talks to her 
younger neighbors in Gombo-French. They, of course, answer her in 

Look out! warns your Creole friend, pointing to a doorstep ahead of 
you. A group of Negroes, apparently helpless, stand around and stare at 
it. You elbow your way through the crowd. There on the lowest step a 
white candle burns in the center of a cross made of wet salt. At the end 
of each arm of the cross a five-cent piece has been placed. 

* What is that? you inquire. 

That s a gris-gris, he answers in a hushed voice. Somebody put that 
there to bring harm on the people who live in the house. That same harm 
will befall anyone who touches the charm. 

You believe in that? You are amazed that a man, obviously cul 
tured . . . 

No, no, not exactly, he says reluctantly. Then, suddenly stooping, he 
picks up the candle, blows it out and throws it into the gutter, flicks the 
salt off the step, and puts the nickels in his pocket. Whistling off-key, he 
shoulders his way through the crowd. That will buy us a couple of good 
poor boys. 

A couple of what? 

Sandwiches. They re edible. Come along. You turn a corner and go 
into a little shop having as a sign a crude picture of a small boy eating a 
sandwich nearly as large as himself. You like roast beef? 


Two roast beefs. In a moment appear before you two large sand 
wiches made by cutting a twenty-eight-inch loaf of bread in two, then 
splitting it lengthwise, piling it with sliced roast beef, lettuce, and toma 
toes, and drowning the whole in gravy. You are surprised to find them 
remarkably good, though a trifle unwieldy. Then you realize why they 
call them poor boys. They cost a dime, and a half of one makes a meal. 

On leaving the sandwich shop, you look at your Creole s face. He seems 
to be thinking of things miles distant. You wish he would get started on 











il / M / 7 f 7 












Folkways 6 1 

Voodoo again, but you are afraid to ask. He seems to guess your thought. 
Suppose we go see an old Voodoo woman my colored nurse used to con 
sult when I was a child. The offer is obviously made from a sense of duty. 
You protest, but your Creole must not disappoint you. 

You pass many long, narrow little houses on the way. They are one 
room wide, and seem to stretch back into infinity. Shotgun cottages/ 
your Creole calls them. He says they are so called because all the doors 
open one behind the other in a straight line. With all doors open, you 
could fire a gun from front step to backyard wall without leaving a 

The Voodoo woman lives away down on Pauger Street, near where 
Bagtelle, Great Men, Love, and Good Children Streets used to be. 
They were named by the gallant wastrel, Bernard de Marigny, when he 
divided his plantation into building lots in hopes of recouping the fortune 
lost at * craps. You start out on foot, as you always do if you want to 
see anything in New Orleans. Along the way, you are surprised by the 
number of freshly scrubbed doorsteps, sprinkled with powdered brick, 
which you see. Your Creole tells you that powdered brick not only keeps 
off evil spells, but witches and ghosts as well. Out of a cottage window 
you are just passing come the strains of an old Creole lullaby, sung in a 
husky Afro-American contralto. The Creole knows the song, remembers 
it from his childhood, hums a few bars, and breaks into the words, in 
the soft Gombo you have been hearing along the way. The song goes 
something like this: 

Pov piti Lolotte a mouin 
Pov piti Lolotte a mouin 
Li gagnin bobo, bobo, 
Li gagnin doule. 
Pov piti Lolotte a mouin 
Pov piti Lolotte a mouin 
Li gagnin bobo, Li gagnin doule. 

Calalou pote madrasse, li pote jipon garni; 

Calalou pote madrasse, li pote jipon garni. 

D amour quand pote la chaine, adieu courri tout bonheur; 

D amour quand pote la chaine, adieu courri tout bonheur. 


^ nor us: 
Pov piti Lolotte a mouin, 
Pov piti Lolotte a mouin, 
Li gagnin bobo, bobo, 
Li gagnin doule, doule, 
Li gagnin doule dans ker a li. 


Economic and Social Development 

The Voodoo woman, of course, is a disappointment. The Creole 
never honestly expected she would divulge any of her secrets, but she 
is very pleasant, and tells you with a flashing smile that Zaffaire Cabritt 
qa pas zaffaire Mouton (The goat s business is none of the sheep s con 
cern). The Creole expected that too. But she is quite willing to talk 
of other things, tells you one of the thousand and one animal tales in 
Gombo, which your Creole later repeats and translates. He remembers 
that one, too, from his childhood. And she does tell you where there 
is a drugstore which does an extensive business in Voodoo paraphernalia, 
bearing witness to the fact that Voodoo is far from extinct even today. 
So you head for the Voodoo drugstore, which is in the uptown section, 
and the Creole gets a chance to repeat the animal tale: 


Bouki mette di fe en bas so lequi- 
page et fait bouilli dolo ladans pendant 
eine haire. Quand dolo la te bien 
chaud Bouki sorti deyors et li com 
mence batte tambour et hele macaques 
ye. Li chante, li chante: 

Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel tarn! 
Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel dam! 

Macaques ye tende et ye dit : 
Qui ca? Bouki gaignin quichoge qui 
bon pou manze, anon couri, et ye tous 
parti pou couri chez Bouki. Tan ye 
te ape galpe, ye te chante: 

Molesi, cherguinet, chourvan! 
Cheguille, chourvan! 

Quand Bouki oua ye li te si content 
li frotte so vente. Bouki dit ma 
caques: Ma le rentre dans chau 
diere la, et quan ma dit mo chuite, 
ote moin. Bouki saute dans chaudiere 
dans ein piti moment li hele: Mo 
chuite, mo chuite, ote moin, et ma 
caques hale li deyors. Quand Bouki 
te deyors li dit macaques: Astere 
ce ouzotte tour rentre dans chaudiere. 
Quand ouzotte va hele mo chuite ma 
ote ouzottes. Macaques ye rentre. 
Dolo la te si chaud, si chaud, sitot 
ye touche li, ye hele: Mo chuite, 
mo chuite. Mais Bouki prend so 


Compair Bouki put fire under his 
kettle, and when the water was very 
hot he began to beat his drum and to 
cry out: 

* Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel tarn! 
Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel dam! 

The monkeys heard and said: 
What! Bouki has something good to 
eat; let us go ; and they ran up to 
Bouki and sang: 

Molesi, cherguinet, chourvan! 
Cheguille, chourvan! 

Compair Bouki then said to the 
monkeys: I shall enter into the kettle, 
and when I say, "I am cooked," you 
must take me out. He jumped into 
the kettle, and the monkeys pulled 
him out as soon as he said, I am 

The monkeys, in their turn, jumped 
into the kettle, and cried out, immedi 
ately on touching the water, We are 
cooked. Bouki, however, took his big 
iron pot cover and covering the kettle 
said: If you were cooked you could 
not say so. One little monkey alone 
escaped, and Bouki ate all the others. 


grand couverti et couvri so chaudiere 
serre, et tan li tape ri li dit pove ma 
caques ye: Si ouzottes te chuite 
ouzottes te pas capabe dit ouzottes 
chuites. Quand macaques ye te 
chuites pou meme, Bouki decouvri so 
chaudiere. Asteur ein tout piti ma 
caque, qui te dans ein piti coin chape 
sans Bouki oua li. Asteur, Bouki 
assite, et li mange, mange jouqua li te 
lasse. Mais ein jou li fini mange 
dernier macaque et li di : Fo mo trappe 
lotte macaques. Li prend so gros tam 
bour, li couri en haut la garli et li batte, 
li batte et li chante: 

Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel tam! 
Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel dam! 

Et macaques commence vini et ape 
chante : 

Molesi, cheriguille! 

Molesi, cheriguille, chourvan! 

Quand tous macaques ye te la Bouki 
rentre dans dolo chaud qui te dans 
chaudiere, et dit: Quand ma dit: Mo 
chuite, ote moin. Dans ein ti moment 
Bouki hele: Mo chuite, mo chuite. 
Ah oua, macaques ye prend gros 
couverti, et couvri pove Bouki et ye 
dit li: Si so te chuite to sre pas heel. 

Some time after this Compair Bouki 
was hungry again, and he called the 

Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel tam! 
Sam-bombel! Sam-bombel dam! 
When the monkeys came they sang: 

Molesi, cheriguille! 
Molesi, cheriguille, chourvan! 

When the monkeys arrived, he 
jumped into the kettle again and said, 
I am cooked, I am cooked. The mon 
keys, however, having been warned by 
the little monkey who had escaped the 
first time, did not pull Bouki out, but 
said, If you were cooked you could 
not say so. 

At Canal Street you board a street-car with your friend. Two black- 
robed nuns enter, giving the conductor a polite nod instead of a fare. 
The instant the nuns appear in the car, all the gentlemen seated scramble 
to their feet, vying with one another for the privilege of relinquishing 
their seats. 

The gentleman next to whom you are standing is reading the classified 
section of a local newspaper. You glance at the Personal column and 


Parrot, green, lost from 214 Calliope, answering to I love 
you, Oh! Doctor, and imitates children crying. 

C. Smith 
I am applying for a pardon. 

Robert Barrot 

Thanks to Saint Peter, Saint Margaret, and the Little 
Flower of Jesus for favors granted. 


6 4 

Economic and Social Development 

Thanks to Saint Jude for hayfever. 

Mary T. 

I am not responsible for any debts contracted by my wife. 

George J. Jones 

Thanks to Saint Rita for bicycles found and preservation 
from drowning. 

C. R. M. and his cousin 

Thanks to Saint Expedite, my boy turned good. 

Mrs. L. B. Day 

You get off the street-car, and right there in front of you, on a wide 
straight avenue, with tall palm trees down the center, and houses occu 
pied by the better class of Negroes, is the Voodoo drugstore. You go in, 
meet the proprietor, and attempt to get a catalogue of his charms. 
He is very reticent, since he is in an illicit business, but by dint of haggling 
you and your Creole friend leave, triumphantly carrying a vial of Love 
Oil and a list of all other charms to be purchased in the store. Here is 
your list: 

Love Powder, White & Pink .25 

Drawing Powder . 50 

Cinnamon Powder .25 

War Powder . 50 

Controlling Powder . 50 

Anger Powder . 50 

Peace Powder . 50 

Courting Powder . 50 

Delight Powder . 50 

Yellow Wash . 25 

Red Wash .25 

Black Wash .25 

Pink Wash .25 

Lode Stone .25 

Steel Dust .25 

Saltpeter .25 

Van Van .25 

Gamblers Luck .75 

Dice Special i.oo 

Oil Geranium . 25 

Oil Verbena . 25 

Oil Rosemary . 25 

Oil Lavender .25 

Love Oil . 50 

Mind Oil . 50 

Devil Oil . 50 

Incense (Vantines) .25 

Love Drops 

Drawing Drops 

Luck around Business 

Robert Vinegar 

French Love Powder 

Get Away Powder 

Easy Life Powder 

Goddess of Luck 

Midnight Oil 

Goddess of Love 

Lucky Jazz 

Come to Me Powder 

Goddess of Evils 

Love and Success Powder 

Straight XX 

XXX 3 Cross Powder 

Lucky Floor Drops 

3 King Oil 

Controlling Oil 

Sacred Sand, All Colors 

Love Drawing Powder 

St. Joseph Powder 

Black Cat Oil 

Mexican Luck 

Angel s Delight 

Black Devils 

Snake Root 













Folkways 65 

Dragon s Blood 


John Conquer Root 


Devil Shoe Strings 


Cinnamon Drops 


War Water 


Get Together Powder 


Peace Water 


Good Luck Powder 


Mad Water 


Hell s Devil Powder 


Moving Powder 


Bend Over Oil 


Draw Across Powder 


St. Joseph Oil 


Flying Devil Powder 


As You Please Powder 


Separation Powder 


5 Century Grass 


Lucky Lucky Powder 


Goofer Dust 


Good Luck Drops for Hand 


6th and yth Book of Moses 

I. 00 

Mad Luck Water 


Oil Bend Over 


Extra Good Luck Drops 


Get Together Drops 

1. 00 

Fast Luck Drops 


* What is goofer dust? you inquire. 

Your Creole smiles. * Would you like to have some? 

* Certainly if I knew what to do with it. So the two of you go 
to the old St. Louis Cemetery. It is late afternoon and the sexton is 
unwilling to let strangers in. The Creole tells him something in French, 
bows, and enters the gate. You wander about among the old, crumbling 
whitewashed tombs, which look like little houses. The Creole stops before 
a tall tomb, and cautioning you to be quiet, climbs to the top and comes 
down with a handful of damp earth. 

This is Marie Laveau s grave. Marie was the most famous, most 
powerful of all the Voodoo Queens. On Saint John s Eve, petitioners 
come and deposit coins in the chinks of the grave to have her spirit 
answer their prayers. Goofer dust is the earth from a grave, any grave. 
But I thought I d get you earth from Marie Laveau s own grave, because 
that, of course, would make the charms doubly potent, he says, smiling. 

Then you leave the cemetery, talking of Marie Laveau, and how she 
used to charm policemen sent to imprison her so that they were unable 
to move; of how her tignon, or headdress, was tied in a way no other 
woman was permitted to tie hers; and how she was said to converse with 
and advise those who inherited her authority after her death; and of 
many other sinister things. 

That, says your Creole, pointing to a house on the corner of Royal 
and St. Ann Streets, is one of the many haunted houses in the Vieux 


Certainly. A man whose integrity I respect told me that he himself, 
on a wintry night, saw the naked figure of a woman walking up and 
down the edge of the roof, shivering and wringing her hands. Tradition 

66 Economic and Social Development 

says that a beautiful octoroon slave girl, over a century ago, fell in love 
with her white master. Jealously she guarded her secret as long as she 
could, and finally, no longer being able to stand the sight of him passing 
her by as unconcernedly as if she had been a piece of furniture, she 
blurted out her love for him. Taking the whole affair as a broad joke, 
the master agreed that if she would walk naked on the roof top all that 
night (one of the coldest of the year) he would become her lover. To 
prove her love and obedience, the girl climbed the roof shortly after night 
fall, and taking off her clothes began to walk up and down the edge of 
the roof. By midnight, she was so frozen that she could no longer move 
andjying down in exhaustion, fell into a coma from which she never awoke. 
New Orleans is kind to ghosts/ your Creole adds, and almost all of 
our old houses are haunted. In your own studio . . . 


NEW ORLEANS was a provincial French and Spanish city already a 
century old before it became a part of the United States. Set in a lush 
tropical wilderness near the mouth of the Mississippi, a city of contrasts, 
it was both elegant and brutal. Operas and lavish balls were given, and 
there was a fine choice of wines; but men were being tortured under 
Spanish law, and pirates and smugglers made neighboring waters unsafe 
for the traveler. Riots were frequent. Each residence was built like a fort. 

In the century and a quarter since the Americans came flocking to 
New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, social life has de 
veloped and modified itself into the usual American pattern; but there 
remains a Latin culture a culture not founded on books but on the 
art of life itself which makes New Orleans different from other cities 
of the country. The celebration of Mardi Gras with masquerade balls 
and pageantry is perhaps the city s most typical gesture. 

A new city has grown up around and beyond the limits of the old walled 
city of La Nouvelle Orleans. Some of the old remains; but New Orleans 
today is a melting pot of many nationalities. From the little French 
settlement of 1718 the present-day city has emerged. 

The transition was the result of various contributing factors, but the 
Church, particularly during the first century of the city s existence, was 
a dominant influence. Jesuit missionaries brought over to administer to 
the spiritual needs of the settlers found time also to aid in the develop 
ment of agriculture and industry, thereby helping to attract additional 
and higher type immigration. The Ursuline nuns, who came to the 
Colony in 1727, added a touch of civilization by establishing a school, 

68 Economic and Social Development 

tending to the sick, and carrying on other activities devoted to public 
welfare. Slavery was introduced almost from the beginning, and the 
Negro has always been a definite part (at times, a problem) of the city s 
social life. 

During the French and Spanish regimes (1718-1803) New Orleans 
remained little more than a town, the population within the city wall 
never greatly exceeding five thousand. Except for officialdom and a small 
circle of aristocracy, which was augmented after the French Revolution 
by the coming of emigres, the inhabitants consisted mainly of the bour 
geoisie, soldiers, and the American frontiersmen, who came in increasing 
numbers after 1800. From the lowest to the highest social stratum in this 
community there was a very definite distinction assumed by the Creole 
element (descendants of the original French and Spanish settlers) of the 
population. Averse to all foreign intercourse but that with the mother 
countries, they maintained their social and cultural identity, regarding 
as unfortunate any increase in the foreign population of the city. So 
marked was this attitude that after American annexation resulted in an 
influx of Anglo-Saxons, the newcomers found it advisable to settle outside 
the confines of the Creole section. Ultimately surrounded by suburban 
foreigners, the Vieux Carre became a city within a city, in which Creole 
society maintained its own high social standards. 

During the great plantation era, from the eighteenth century to the 
beginning of the Civil War, New Orleans became an unrivaled social 
center and the scene of many brilliant functions. The planters became 
immensely wealthy, erecting great plantation houses, many of which 
were classic in architecture and luxuriously furnished. The more affluent 
of these country gentlemen established separate town houses in New 
Orleans, residing in them while on visits to the city. 

Many plantation mansions were erected on the outskirts of the city 
along the Mississippi and Bayou St. John. The big house of the planter 
usually faced the river or bayou, set back about a hundred yards and 
surrounded by spacious grounds. In architecture it ranged from a tem 
porary log cabin to an elaborate mansion. In general the plantation home 
followed a pattern simple two-story structures, the lower of brick and 
the upper of wood, with wide verandas (called galleries ) supported on 
the lower floor by squat columns of brick and above by thin colonnettes 
of cypress. Set back from the house, usually at some distance, were the 
kitchens, smokehouses and storehouses, and the chapel. The slave 
quarters were situated further to the rear, their one- or two-room cottages, 
each with its large chimney, forming a long street in the manner of a 

Social Life and Social Welfare 69 

miniature village. Between the slave quarters and the mansion the over 
seer, should the number of slaves or the size of the plantation demand 
the services of one, had his house. 

Plantation life was feudal and patriarchal. Based upon serfdom, in 
which the slaves were attached to the owner s land and regarded as per 
sonal property, the system was in many respects similar to that in 
practice under the ancien regime, with the exception that the ownership 
implied in the term slavery distinguished the lot of the Negro from that 
of the European peasant. The system was patriarchal in that the life of 
the community centered around the planter and his family. The members 
of such a feudal community were necessarily separated into three distinct 
classes, the planter and his family, the household servants, and the 
slaves employed in the fields. The bond uniting them was essentially 
economic in nature, all relying upon the land for subsistence. 

The position of the planter s wife was an important one. While he 
attended to the business of the plantation she supervised its daily exist 
ence, exercising in her field as much power and undertaking as great a 
responsibility as did her husband in his, ruling as she did an enormous 
black family as well as her own. Invariably there were young cousins or 
orphan kin to be educated or cared for, or old aunts and uncles for whom 
a home had to be provided. Education of the young was taken care of by 
a tutor or governess, more often than not from the North, who was ac 
cepted and treated as one of the family. In short, the mistress was en 
tirely responsible for the daily routine, welfare, and happiness of all. 

A typical plantation usually had about a hundred slaves, over which 
the planter occupied a position similar to that of a petty feudal lord, with 
emphasis always upon the responsibility rather than the power of his 
station. Theoretically accountable to the law, in practice he tended to be 
sole ruler. The welfare of his family was directly dependent upon that of 
his slaves, for in order to prosper the planter had to see that they were 
properly clothed, fed, housed, and kept in good health. Discipline had to 
be maintained and work accomplished under the most trying conditions. 
Education had to be attended to classical for his sons, cultural for his 
daughters, and practical for his slaves. Health was exceedingly impor 
tant, and could be maintained only upon the closest supervision, a physi 
cian being kept in constant attendance for that purpose. The attitude of 
the planter toward his slaves in matters of religion differed with the 
individual. Some masters interfered as little as possible, while others 
considered it their duty to assume full responsibility. 

As the city expanded, the nearby plantation holdings were subdivided 

70 Economic and Social Development 

and became part of the enlarging city. Where brilliant fetes once marked 
a round of genteel social intercourse, where culture flourished under the 
guiding hand of a landed gentry, now only plantation homes, many still 
kept in excellent condition, others fallen into decay, stand surrounded 
by modern and less glamorous dwelling-places as symbols of a once im 
pressive social order. 

Private clubs have played an important part in the development of 
New Orleans social life. In the early days men gathered in saloons and 
coffee houses, known as bourses or exchanges, after business hours 
for the enjoyment of friendly discussion, wine-drinking, games, and 
reading. The most popular of these places were La Sere s and Maspero s, 
located in the Vieux Carre. The good fellowship and congeniality which 
predominated at these gatherings laid the foundation for the promotion 
of later organizations. Several groups originated simultaneously with 
the carnival associations, and are today closely identified with them, 
although the extent of the relationship is a secret closely guarded by 
members. More prominent among the older organizations were the 
Elkin, the Pelican, Orleans, Chalmette, Boston, and Pickwick, of which 
only the last two now survive. The Elkin Club, named after the owner 
of a hotel building situated on Bayou St. John, was formed in 1832 by a 
small group of influential men who desired great privacy and exclusive- 
ness in their pleasures. The members, who drove to their clubhouse every 
afternoon in their carriages, enjoyed a fine dinner and spent the remainder 
of the day in drinking and gambling. Chivalry being the order of the 
day, they offered sumptuous balls and entertainments, to which socially 
prominent ladies were invited. The Harmony Club, founded in 1862, was 
for years an important medium of the Jewish social life, and the Chess, 
Checkers, and Whist Club was the rendezvous of many players of those 
days, including Paul Morphy, world-famous chess expert. 

In former days the lines of social caste were more sharply drawn, and 
in no phase of social life was this more apparent than in the membership 
roster of the exclusive clubs. The business of merchandising and ordinary 
trading was considered plebeian, and the members of this group were ex 
cluded from the aristocratic club life of New Orleans. Plantation owners, 
bankers, politicians, and cotton and sugar brokers were considered 
eligible, however. Today, with the expansion of democratic ideas, and 
because of the fact that members of many aristocratic families have gone 
into various types of business which were outlawed socially under the 
old regime, the modern clubs of New Orleans, although exclusive in the 
choice of their members, have broadened their membership standards. 

Social Life and Social Welfare 71 

Women s clubs, though of later origin, today play a major part in 
women s activities in the city. Among the more prominent of the wom 
en s organizations are the Colonial Dames, the Junior League, the Petit 
Salon, and the Orleans Club. Several country clubs for both men and 
women are also prominent. 

The work of the Ursuline nuns in administering to the sick and indigent 
among the first settlers is today greatly magnified in the efficient and 
well-organized welfare agencies in the city. The Department of Public 
Welfare, organized in 1934, has charge of the city s many institutions for 
the sick, the poor, the aged, and orphaned or delinquent children. In ad 
dition to the Department of Public Welfare, there are a large number of 
social and philanthropic institutions devoted to the welfare of orphans, 
delinquents, and the aged and indigent. Among these are several case 
work agencies, such as the Family Service Society, dealing primarily with 
domestic or marital difficulties; the Associated Catholic Charities, also 
dealing with family problems; and the Children s Bureau, whose function 
is to care for and place neglected children in foster homes whenever pos 
sible. The Travelers Aid Society and the American Red Cross are also 

The Tulane School of Social Work, organized at Tulane University in 
1927, has been an important factor in stimulating social consciousness in 
the community through education and specialized study of social con 
ditions. Students preparing for this type of work are given practice cases 
(with supervision) at some of the above institutions in connection with 
their regular class work. 

There are also twenty-three asylums for children located throughout 
the city, some of which are privately endowed while others are supported 
from Community Chest funds. Practically all of the large hospitals of 
the city conduct social service departments which co-operate with other 
case-work agencies in the treatment of charitable cases. For the aged 
and indigent there are a number of institutions which are maintained by 
the city and are non-sectarian. 

The present system of curbing juvenile delinquency in New Orleans 
has been much improved since the establishment in 1933 of the new Milne 
Municipal Boys Home, a corrective institution. The need for recreational 
facilities bv the youth of the city has been recognized in a number of 
neighborhoods in the establishment of community centers, which offer 
health supervision, swimming and other sports, supervised play, and 
instruction in crafts. 

The Community Chest, organized in 1924, functions as a centralized dis 
bursing agency for the various institutions and welfare groups of the city. 


EDUCATION was advocated in New Orleans almost from the beginning. 
Soon after the town was founded, Bienville importuned the French 
Government to establish a college under the patronage of the Crown. 
The request refused, he asked that the Sceurs Crises of his native Canada 
be sent to New Orleans to teach and to care for the sick colonists. Again 
disappointed, he was advised by Father Beaubois to secure the services 
of the Ursulines of Rouen. After several months of preparations, six 
Ursuline nuns and two Jesuit missionaries arrived in New Orleans in 1727, 
and began the instruction of a limited number of girls and the nursing of 
the sick. A few Indians and Negro slaves also were taught during evenings 
and Sundays. To this small group New Orleans owes its first educational 
institution, Ursuline Convent a school which has operated continu 
ously for more than two hundred years and is one of the oldest girls 
schools in the country. 

There is a brief account of a school for boys having been opened in 1724 
on the site of the present Presbytery, directed by Father Cecil, a Cap 
uchin monk, but little information relating to it is available. Governor 
Unzaga also attempted to establish a public school in 1772, while Louisi 
ana was under the rule of Spain, and for a short time students, varying 
in number from six to thirty, were taught reading and writing. 

Despite these efforts education made little progress in the first century 
of New Orleans existence. Lack of funds, social and religious difficulties, 
and apparent apathy on the part of the governing powers retarded the 
development of schools. Free education was frowned upon by those who 
could provide private instruction for their children, and early Creole 
families who could afford to do so sent their sons to European universities. 

Education 73 

As elsewhere in the Nation, the need for free public schools was not rec 
ognized until early in the nineteenth century; even then, many con 
sidered it undesirable. Because they felt, undemocratically, that it would 
necessitate an indiscriminate mingling of all classes, and perhaps give 
their children undesirable associates. 

It was not until after 1803, when Louisiana was transferred to the 
United States, that appreciable gains were made in education. William 
C. C. Claiborne, first American Governor, in his address to the Legislature 
in 1804, advocated the establishment of free schools, open to all classes, 
and as a result an act was passed in 1805 authorizing the founding of a 
college in New Orleans. Appropriations for the college, however, were 
not made until 1811, owing to lack of funds. In 1826, after the college 
had flourished and expired, two elementary schools and a central high 
school were established in the city, the former giving training in French, 
English grammar, reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the latter, 
courses in literature, mathematics, and the languages. To assist in the 
support of these institutions, taxes were levied on the city s two theaters, 
and these funds supplemented by revenue from the Louisiana lottery. 
While only a small percentage of the city s educable youth was enrolled 
in them, the schools were a factor in molding a more favorable opinion of 
public education. 

Although the schools were supported with tax funds, small tuition fees 
were charged each student, a condition which prevented many children 
from attending. In 1833 Governor Roman sponsored additional legisla 
tion extending free school facilities to the indigent, and providing for 
State assistance in the support of city schools. As the number of students 
increased following this measure, additional taxes were assessed to meet 
the growing demands. 

With the reorganization of the State educational system and the ap 
pointment of a State superintendent in 1847, a number of free schools were 
set up throughout New Orleans, and a more uniform system of taxation 
was planned to maintain them. The year following more than 6500 
students were enrolled. In 1850 New Orleans received a large portion of 
the estate of John McDonogh, who at his death left a will requesting that 
his fortune be divided equally between the public schools of Baltimore, 
his birthplace, and New Orleans, his adopted home. From this source 
New Orleans realized approximately $750,000, which was used to erect 
more public school buildings. Twelve of the thirty-five schools built are 
still in use. By 1860, 12,000 students were enrolled in the public schools 
of the city. 

74 Economic and Social Development 

During the middle of the nineteenth century a number of convents 
and parochial schools were established in New Orleans, including the 
schools of the Redemptorist Fathers and Immaculate Conception, St. 
Mary s German School, the New Orleans Female Dominican Academy, 
the First Convent of Mercy, and Notre Dame Seminary. These schools, 
semi-private in character, were affected in a lesser degree by the Civil 
War, and fared better during that period than the public schools of the 

The Civil War and the Reconstruction policies in the era following 
were a serious blow to the education of whites in New Orleans. Schools 
were disorganized. Enrollment fell to twenty per cent of its normal 
figure. Negro education, which heretofore had been left almost entirely 
to slave owners, made rapid strides with carpetbag legislation, which 
made provision for joint Negro and white instruction. Negro school 
superintendents were appointed to direct the State educational system. 
As a result practically all of the white students withdrew from the schools. 

It was not until the late iSyo s, under the administration of Robert 
M. Lusher, that the city school system was restored to normal conditions. 
By the turn of the century there were more than seventy school buildings 
in New Orleans, and an enrollment of almost thirty-two thousand stu 
dents. In 1906 the State Board of Education introduced a uniform cur 
riculum into public schools and New Orleans, four years later, enforced 
the law making the attendance of children between the ages of seven and 
fifteen compulsory. 

Advanced education in the city was a nineteenth-century development, 
the founding of the College of Orleans in 1811 having been the first at 
tempt to establish an institution for higher learning. This school, pri 
vately endowed, was maintained for only fifteen years, owing to enmity 
between Americans and Creoles, and was abandoned in 1826. In 1834 a 
group of local physicians founded the Medical College of Louisiana, 
which, despite a lack of adequate funds, flourished for several years, and 
in 1847 was absorbed by the University of Louisiana, established by the 
State Legislature a few years earlier. Occasional appropriations kept 
the university barely alive until 1883, when the munificent bequests of 
Paul Tulane gave it a new name and made possible its expansion to its 
present proportions. Four years later Newcomb College, one of the most 
popular women s schools in the South, was opened, and in 1911 Loyola 
University, conducted by the Jesuit Order, was established. 

As elsewhere in the South, the Negro institutions of New Orleans are 
of fairly recent origin. During the latter part of the nineteenth century 

Education 75 

a number of colored schools were founded; the first in 1869, under the 
auspices of the Freedmen s Bureau, was known as the New Orleans 
University. Later schools included Flint Medical College, which de 
veloped into the Flint-Goodridge Hospital, and Straight University, 
founded and maintained by the American Missionary Society of New 
York. The latter merged with New Orleans University to form Dillard 
University, which had its first formal session in 1935 and which promises 
to become one of the outstanding Negro institutions of the country. In 
1915 Xavier College was opened the only Catholic school of higher 
learning in the United States conducted solely for Negroes. 

The Notre Dame Seminary, under the supervision of the Archbishop 
of New Orleans, provides training for secular priests. The Baptist Bible 
Institute, open to both men and women, is strictly a theological seminary, 
and was established in New Orleans in 1917. 

New Orleans has had a number of private schools, only a few of which, 
however, survived the depression. The Louise S. McGehee School for 
Girls, an accredited elementary and high school founded in 1912, is one 
of the most popular in the city. Others continuing in operation include 
the Metairie Park Day School, the New Orleans Academy, the Isidore 
Newman School, Rugby Academy, the New Orleans Nursery School, 
and Miss Aiken s Primary School. The Home Institute, founded by 
Sophie Wright, was formerly one of the outstanding girls schools of the 
city, and a public high school today is named for the Institute s late 
founder. A French school for children of the grammar grades is main 
tained on a part-time basis by the French Union. A description of an 
early private school one opened in 1847 by Madame Marie Louise 
Girard for the instruction of young children is given in Grace King s 
Madame Girard. 

New Orleans also has a number of commercial, technical, trade, and 
business schools located throughout the city, as well as schools of art, 
music, dancing, and dramatics. 

The Isaac Delgado Central Trades School, offering training in printing, 
carpentry, metal work, architectural and mechanical drafting, mathe 
matics, the trades, English, plumbing, cabinet-making, interior decorat 
ing, electricity, applied science, and stewardship, is recognized as one of 
the leading trade schools in this section of the country. The L. E. Rabouin 
Trade School for Girls offers a wide range of courses in manual arts, 
home-making, and crafts. The Joseph A. Maybin Commercial School for 
Graduates, said to be the only institution of its kind in the South, offers 
advanced work for graduates in commerce. The building was originally a 

76 Economic and Social Development 

Jewish private school founded in 1868 by the Hebrew Education 

During the last few years numerous methods and courses have been 
incorporated into the public-school system in an effort to facilitate the 
training of the mentally and physically handicapped. Sight-saving classes 
for the near blind, corrective classes for children with physical defects, 
and opportunity classes for students mentally inferior are being con 
ducted. At the Robert C. Davey School night classes are offered three 
times a week to foreigners wishing to learn the English language. Illit 
eracy, still very high in the city, is declining as a result of the introduction 
of free textbooks, whereby indigent families are aided in their efforts to 
educate their children, and as a result of the educational work being 
done in that field by the Works Progress Administration. 

At present there are sixty-one elementary public day schools and 
eleven high schools for white students, and twenty-three elementary and 
four high schools for Negroes. The figures for 1934-35 showed a total 
enrollment of 77,000 students in the city s public schools, approximately 
25,000 of whom were colored. Catholic schools in the city include thirty- 
nine elementary, eleven high schools, two colleges, and one normal school, 
for white students, and eleven schools, including both elementary and 
high schools, for Negroes. There are also two Hebrew and four Lutheran 

The present Orleans Parish school board, with offices at 701 Carondelet 
Street, consists of five members, elected by ballot every four years. The 
board selects its own officers and the operating officials of the school 
system. The City Commissioner of Public Finance automatically becomes 
treasurer of the board. 


THE first religious services in New Orleans were conducted by the 
Jesuit missionaries who came to Louisiana with Iberville and Bienville 
for the purpose of establishing the Catholic Church and converting the 
Indians. The earliest direct reference to a house of worship in the city 
is in the account of Father Charlevoix, who, when visiting New Orleans 
in 1721, found only a hundred houses, and half a miserable warehouse, 
where Our Lord is worshipped. A temporary church built during the 
priest s stay was later destroyed by the hurricane of 1722. 

In 1722 the Company of the Indies issued an ordinance dividing the 
territory into three ecclesiastical sections. Under this division New Or 
leans came under the jurisdiction of the Capuchins, whose first task was 
the erection of a church to replace that one destroyed by the hurricane. 
The new building, a brick edifice, was dedicated to Saint Louis in honor 
of the patron saint of France. A later alteration in the ecclesiastical ad 
ministration of the Province permitted the Jesuits to work in the original 
Capuchin territory, and in 1723 the New Orleans mission of the Jesuits 
was established. The following year Bienville promulgated the Black 
Code, a system of laws providing for the control of slaves, the expulsion 
of Jews from the territory, and the establishment of Catholicism as a 
State religion. In spite of the provisions of the Code, both Jews and 
Protestants came into the Colony at an early date, as is indicated by the 
reports of the Spanish governors and by O Reilly s expulsion of a few 
Jews in 1769. 

The Jesuits, who besides their spiritual activities did much toward the 

78 Economic and Social Development 

furtherance of industry in the Colony by introducing the cultivation of 
figs, oranges, indigo, and sugar cane, were expelled in 1763 as a result of 
European opposition. 

An incident which might have profoundly affected both New Orleans 
and the entire territory was the attempt in 1789 of Padre Antonio de 
Sedella, later known and revered as Pere Antoine, to establish the dreaded 
Spanish Inquisition in Louisiana. Governor Miro, quick to sense the 
danger of such an institution in the French Colony, cleverly arranged the 
seizure and deportation of the priest. 

A new diocese was formed of Louisiana and the Floridas in 1793, and 
Bishop Penalver became the first permanent Bishop of New Orleans. 
The third church to occupy the original site of Saint Louis Cathedral 
was dedicated and consecrated as a cathedral by Bishop Penalver in 1 794. 

The transfer of Louisiana from one to another of three different nations 
within a month in 1803 disrupted the work of the Catholic Church for a 
dozen years. Many of the priests and nuns, unwilling to remain in the 
Colony under French rule, withdrew; the subsequent announcement of 
the sale of the territory to America completed the disorganization. Pere 
Antoine, back in New Orleans after his exile, was the storm center of a 
controversy arising over the differences between Spanish and American 
laws regarding church property. He refused to recognize the authority 
of the Archbishop of Baltimore, and was supported in this by his con 
gregation, who organized a Board of Trustees to whose care the Cathedral 
was entrusted. The contest between the Bishop and the Trustees was 
finally carried to the United States Supreme Court, where a decision 
was obtained in 1843 transferring the property to the Archbishop s 

In 1837 the Jesuits were recalled to Louisiana, where they again took 
up their work, establishing in New Orleans a number of institutions, 
largely educational, from which several fine high schools for boys, and 
Loyola University, a large and important institution of higher learning, 
have grown. These and other activities spurring recovery from the set 
back, the Catholic Church again grew steadily in the city; religious orders 
were called in, additional churches and parochial schools were estab 
lished, and in 1850 New Orleans became an archdiocese, with Bishop 
Blanc its first Archbishop. 

Protestantism, in the first one hundred years of New Orleans existence, 
was very meagerly represented; but early in the nineteenth century the 
number of its adherents, gradually swelled by the influx of American 
colonists, was of sufficient size to justify organization. In 1805 a meeting 

Religion 79 

was called by the several denominations of the Protestant faith for the 
purpose of establishing a common meeting-house. In the vote to decide 
which denomination should erect the building, the Episcopalians won; 
Christ s Church, the first Protestant house of worship in the city, was 
built in 1816 at the corner of Bourbon and Canal Streets. As the city 
grew additional Episcopalian congregations were organized, of which the 
best known is Trinity Church, on Jackson Avenue. Several of the 
pastors of this church became bishops, and one of them, the Reverend 
Leonidas Polk, rector from 1855 to 1861, resigned at the outbreak of the 
Civil War to become a general and the fighting bishop of the Con 
federate Army. 

The first attempt to introduce Methodism also began in 1805 when the 
Western Conference sent Elisha W. Bowman, a minister, to New Orleans 
for the purpose of founding a Methodist church, voting an appropriation 
of one hundred dollars for his expenses. Reaching the city, Bowman ob 
tained permission from the authorities to preach at the Capitol (pre 
sumably the Cabildo), but when he arrived at the building on the ap 
pointed day he found its doors locked. A protest to the Mayor brought 
a renewal of the permission, but probably owing to the interference of 
members of another denomination, Bowman was for the second time 
disappointed, whereupon he left the city, his mission a failure. Other 
assignments made to New Orleans by the Conference between 1811 and 
1818 were similarly unsuccessful, although the Reverend Mark Moore 
had in the latter year actually procured a meeting-house and gathered a 
considerable congregation only to have the deadly yellow fever claim 
a number of his flock and force the closing of his church. But in 1830 the 
perseverance of the Methodists was rewarded, when yet another attempt 
resulted in the erection of a substantial church building at Gravier and 
Baronne Streets, the site now occupied by the Union Indemnity Building. 
The foothold once gained, steady progress was made, the First Church 
congregation quickly outgrowing its building, and moving to larger 
quarters. Methodists meanwhile increased in number in the fast-growing 
city, and soon a number of additional churches were built, definitely 
establishing the Methodist faith. 

From the year 1816, when the first Baptist missionary came to New 
Orleans, the Baptist Church had a hard struggle for existence in the city, 
outside aid having been necessary to maintain the separate church build 
ings until the early twentieth century. But from a total membership 
of only twelve hundred in six churches in 1918, it has grown in the inter 
vening years to more than seven thousand members in twenty-six 

80 Economic and Social Development 

churches. These figures, however, include the entire New Orleans As 
sociation, which extends as far as Westwego in Jefferson Parish. 

The foundation of the Baptist faith was laid here by James A. Reynold- 
son, who came to New Orleans in 1816 as a missionary from the Triennial 
Convention. His church, organized about 1820, with a congregation of 
sixteen white and thirty-two colored members, was later dissolved. For 
the ensuing several years Baptist affairs in the city were in a perturbed 
condition, the members worshiping at various places, and without a de 
finite organization. But in 1860 the First Church, which had been founded 
seventeen years before and later disbanded, was reorganized, resumed its 
services, and began to grow steadily; the Coliseum Place Baptist Church, 
erected in 1854, also began to increase in membership, and other churches 
became necessary at intervals in the following years. 

In 1918 the Baptist Bible Institute, a school devoted to religious edu 
cation, was founded, and, maintained by the Southern Baptist Conven 
tion, is now well established with an enrollment of more than two hundred. 

The first successful effort to implant Presbyterianism in New Orleans 
originated with the Congregationalists of New England. In 1817 the 
Connecticut Missionary Society sent the Reverend Elias Cornelius to 
New Orleans to examine its moral condition, and to invite friends of 
the Congregational or Presbyterian Communion to establish a church/ 
On his way South Doctor Cornelius became acquainted with Mr. Sylves 
ter Larned, a theological student, and invited him to come to New Orleans 
upon the completion of his studies. Following his ordination Larned did 
so, joining Doctor Cornelius and assisting him in the negotiation of a 
loan of $40,000, with which to build the church. Two years later, in 1820, 
the city s first Presbyterian church was dedicated, with the Reverend 
Mr. Larned as pastor. At his death in 1820 the church was for eighteen 
months without a regular minister, but eventually the Reverend Theo 
dore Clapp, a native of Massachusetts, was chosen to fill the office. In 
1830 a famous theological controversy developed in the church; Doctor 
Clapp was charged with heretical teachings and divested of his office and 
pulpit by the Presbytery. Exception was taken, and the case was carried 
to the General Assembly, which body sustained the exception. Mean 
while part of Doctor Clapp s congregation, siding with the opposition, 
seceded, and formed a separate group, which later was reabsorbed by the 
First Church. In 1833, after the congregation split, Judah Touro, noted 
Jewish philanthropist, bought the First Church and turned it over to 
Doctor Clapp and his remaining congregation rent-free, because of his 
admiration for the clergyman. In 1840 Presbyterianism began to grow 

Religion 81 

rapidly, and in 1843 the Lafayette Church, an offshoot of the First 
Church, was founded; this was followed by the Second Church (1843), 
the Third Church (1844), and the Prytania Street Presbyterian Church 
(1846). Today the number of Presbyterian communicants in the city 
has grown to more than 5500. 

The religious history of the Jewish people in New Orleans had its be 
ginning early in the nineteenth century. Although there had been some 
Jews in the city previous to the Louisiana Purchase, there had been no 
organization among them; but by 1828 the number of Jews had increased 
considerably, and in that year Shaaray Chesed (Gates of Mercy), the 
first synagogue, was built. In 1846 the Portuguese Jews, of whom there 
was a small number in the city, founded a second congregation known as 
Nefutzoth (Dispersed of Judah), and this was followed by several other 
organizations. After an interrupted period of development during and 
following the Civil War, Jewish congregations in the city entered upon an 
era of rapid and prosperous growth. The arrival of Rabbi Max Heller as 
leader of Temple Sinai inaugurated a period of great religious activity, 
and drew other brilliant men of the Jewish faith here. There are to 
day three orthodox and three reformed Jewish congregations in the 

The establishment of Lutheranism in New Orleans is, of course, closely 
connected with the settlement of Germans in and about the city. Al 
though a large number of these early German settlers were of Roman 
Catholic faith, some were Protestants, and the majority of the latter 
were Lutherans. The first German Protestant church was organized in 
1829, and occupied a site on Clio Street, between St. Charles Avenue and 
Carondelet Street; but although attended by Lutherans, it was not de 
signated a Lutheran church. In 1840 the Reverend Christian Sans, who 
had held services for Germans in a Methodist church, was denied further 
use of that church when he refused to preach the Methodist doctrine. As 
a result, Sans transferred his services and congregation to the old engine 
house at Clouet and Louisa Streets, on August 2, 1840, and that date has 
since been regarded as the birthday of the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
in New Orleans. In the same year a parochial school, still in existence, 
was opened by John and Jacob Ueber. 

In 1883 the Reverend G. C. Francke organized the English-speaking 
Lutherans of the city and introduced the delivery of sermons in English. 
Until 1901 the church had been chartered at various times under several 
different names, but in that year it was named The Evangelical Lutheran 
St. Paul s Congregation/ and has remained that since. As the number of 

82 Economic and Social Development 

German immigrants to the city increased, other churches were built. 
The total membership is now about six thousand. 

Mary Baker Eddy s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 
introduced Christian Science to New Orleans shortly after 1875. Persons 
interested in Mrs. Eddy s teachings formed a group known as the First 
Christian Science Association of New Orleans. On October 15, 1895, under 
the name Church of Christ, Scientist, of New Orleans, they secured a 
charter from the State to practice Apostolic Healing. Services were 
held at various places before a church on Melpomene Street, seating about 
three hundred, was taken over. Increase in membership necessitated 
larger meeting quarters, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, was 
erected in 1913-14 at Nashville Avenue and Garfield Street. Since then, 
two other churches have been built and several free reading-rooms have 
been established in the city. 

Other denominations in the city include Adventist, American Old 
Catholic, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of 
the Nazarene, Disciples of Christ, Greek, Latter Day Saints, Rosicrucian, 
Theosophical Society, Unitarian, and Unity. 

Negroes in New Orleans belong chiefly to the Baptist and Methodist 
Churches, although there are many Catholic Negroes, and several sub 
stantial Negro Catholic church buildings. White Catholic churches in the 
city permit the attendance of Negroes, usually seating them in the rear 
pews, a custom not usually followed in the Protestant churches. 

During the French and Spanish regimes the slaves, under the re 
quirements of the Black Code, were baptized and instructed in the Cath 
olic faith, but after 1803, when new settlers, mostly Protestant, began to 
build up great plantations, the slaves were taught the religion of their 
masters. A great many of them, however, clung to African religions and 
observed their rituals openly or clandestinely, as circumstances dictated. 
Congo Square (now Beauregard Square) was given over to slaves on Sun 
day afternoons for dancing, singing, and the performance of Voodoo 
rites. As long as Negroes were imported as slaves, the old religions were 
kept alive. With the end of slave traffic and as a result of constant 
proselytism, the Negro transferred his emotionalism to Christian creeds; 
but Voodooism and other primitive rituals have persisted in various forms 
down to the present. 

The emotional character of the Baptist and Methodist revival meetings 
seem to have a special appeal for the Negroes. During Reconstruction 
when refugee slaves were cared for by the Freedmen s Bureau, many of 
them joined Northern church organizations, with the result that today 


the great majority of Negroes are members of the various Baptist and 
Methodist church bodies. 

Several Negro churches have been organized in New Orleans by self- 
appointed leaders, usually women, who adhere to no set doctrine but 
claim communion with the spirits, and profess to practice faith heal 
ing. One or two of these churches have built up congregations of extra 
ordinary size and have even won a considerable following among white 
people. Beside the major Negro churches, there are scores of smaller 

Although a recent directory lists 492 churches in the city, it is estimated 
that there are 600 churches for Negroes alone. 


NEW ORLEANS has a history replete with strange and barbaric sports 
brought to Louisiana by the French and Spanish, diversified by the 
Creoles, and added to by the Americans. Early nineteenth-century 
newspapers carried notices of bull fights and cock fights. The latter were 
well attended, and interest ran high as heavy wagers were posted on the 
contestants, who were revived during the fray by having garlic and 
whisky blown into their beaks. One dollar admitted one to a dog and 
alligator fight, and gorier fare was afforded at the bear- and bull-baiting 
arena, where the spectator was privileged to hurl stones and brickbats at 
the animals to incite them to the proper fury. Today, cock fights and 
occasionally even dog fights are still to be witnessed. Street boxing and 
wrestling of the catch-as-catch-can, bar-nothing variety, was a popular 
form of entertainment in old New Orleans, as were the Voodoo dances 
held on Sunday afternoons in Congo Square. 

A sport popular in the Colonial Period was the traditional game of 
rackets, once the tribal sport of the Choctaw Indians. It combined the 
more violent features of lacrosse, football, cross-country racing, and 
rioting. The young Creoles took it up and formed two clubs, the La 
Villes and the Bayous, and the game soon worked up as much enthusi 
asm as football does now. 

Players, of whom there were any number from five to a hundred, were 
furnished with a pair of kabucha, or rackets, three feet long, made by 
bending the top of a sapling over and tying it to the base about eight inches 
from the end; the frame thus formed was then interlaced with rawhide 
thongs, in the manner of lacrosse rackets. The bambila, about the size 

Sports and Recreation 85 

of a golf ball, was made of rags stuffed into a white buckskin cover. 
The goals, or plats, were placed two hundred yards apart and consisted 
of tall poles having a crossarm ten feet long and one foot wide, tied to 
the pole some distance above the ground. The center of the field was 
marked with a small peg, at which spot one of the captains tossed up the 
ball to put it in play. Two men scrambled for it as it came down, and 
began a mad dash for the opposing goal with the ball held between the 
rackets, the object being to toss the ball against the crossarm of the goal, 
thus scoring a plat. One hundred plats constituted a game. Anything was 
fair, and the man carrying the ball was stopped by being tripped, thrown, 
tackled, or simply clubbed from behind with a racket. The game often 
took several days to finish, and the resulting casualties, all in good clean 
fun, would pale our most stalwart football heroes. 

The Negroes of the section known as La Plaine Raquette (Racket 
Plains), which is bounded roughly by present Galvez Street and St. 
Bernard, North Claiborne, and Elysian Fields Avenues, perpetuated the 
ancient game for some time after the Creoles gave it up, but even they 
have long since become too * soft for it. 

Fencing was once the sport de rigueur in New Orleans in the days when 
Creole blood ran hot and men of honor had to be well versed in the art, 
not only to hold their rank in the popular sport, but to preserve their 
lives and honor. Duels were fought either at St. Anthony s Garden be 
hind St. Louis Cathedral, or under the Dueling Oaks in what is now 
City Park. Perhaps the most famous duelist and fencing master of the 
city was Jose Pepe Llulla, whose numerous successful encounters won 
him a formidable reputation. When New Orleans became the head 
quarters of Cuban filibustering expeditions in the i85o s and i86o s, 
Pepe, a loyal Spanish subject, offered to meet any or all insurrectionists 
brave enough to engage him. Legend claims that Pepe maintained a 
cemetery for the benefit of the countless persons he is reputed to have 

Fencing is still a popular sport in the city. The Fencers 1 Federation of 
Louisiana, located at the Salle d Armes de la Nouvelle Orleans, 528 
Royal Street, fosters numerous small organizations, among which are 
Les Chevaliers de la Nouvelle Orleans, Le Bataillon d Orleans, and the 
fencing clubs of Louisiana State University, the New Orleans Athletic 
Club, and the Young Men s Christian Association. Several traditional 
exhibition tournaments are staged annually, among them being the 
Mardi Gras Duello, held at 2 130 P.M. Mardi Gras Day in the garden be 
hind St. Louis Cathedral, and the Dueling Oaks Encounter, held under the 

86 Economic and Social Development 

Dueling Oaks on the formal opening day of City Park, usually the first or 
second Sunday in May. Much of the recent activity of the fencers has 
been directed toward the development and establishment of a dueling 
technique with that most American of all weapons, the bowie knife. Much 
progress has been made, and an encounter proves to be a most thrilling 
spectacle, with comparatively small danger to the combatants. 

New Orleans at one time was the recognized boxing center of the 
world. In 1891 Louisiana became the first state in the Union to legalize 
prize fighting, and bouts were permitted to be staged openly, with little 
restrictions other than the use of gloves and the observance of the Mar 
quis of Queensberry rules. The Olympic Athletic Club, organized shortly 
after legalization of boxing, conducted a three-day carnival in September, 

1892, the highlight of which was the twenty-one-round knockout victory 
of Corbett over Sullivan for a $21,000 purse and a $10,000 side bet. The 
longest bout in the history of boxing was staged in the city on April 6, 

1893, when the lightweight, Burke, and Bowen, a Negro, battled seven 
hours and nineteen minutes to a no-round draw. Peter Herman and 
Tony Canzoneri, native sons, have won world championships. 

Baseball in New Orleans was first played on open lots by local amateur 
and semi-professional teams. By the 1 870*5, however, visiting teams from 
New York and other large cities were playing the famous Robert E. Lee 
Clubs at the old Fair Grounds, and the public became sufficiently inter 
ested by 1885 to support a two- team league (New Orleans and Mobile) 
organized by a patent medicine company. The Southern League, com 
posed of six teams playing a full season of professional baseball, was or 
ganized in 1887, but lasted only one year; and it was not until 1901, after 
the formation of the Southern Association, that regular seasonal games 
were played in New Orleans. The Pelicans have won pennants in the 
league in 1905, 1910, 1911, 1915, 1918, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1933, and 1934. 
In 1933 and 1934 the team won the Dixie Series/ an annual play-off 
with the Texas League for the championship of the South. Prominent 
native sons who have gone to the big leagues include Mel Ott (Gretna), 
Zeke Bonura, Bill Perrin, and Johnny Oulliber; other stars who have 
gone up from the Pelicans include Joe Sewell, Dazzy Vance, Buddy 
Myers, Eddie Morgan, Pinky Whitney, Al Milnar, and Denny Galehouse. 

Football was first played in New Orleans at Tulane University in 1890. 
The Southern Athletic Club organized a team two years later and won 
the championship of the South in 1893; but interest in the game lagged, 
and it was not until 1924 that high-school and college games attracted 
large crowds. The peak in football was reached in 1932 when the Green 

Sports and Recreation 87 

Wave of Tulane journeyed to California to engage the University of 
Southern California Trojans in the Rose Bowl. Tulane lost (21-12) 
only after a valiant struggle. 

Racing has long been a popular sport in the city. In ante-bellum days 
New Orleans had five of the finest tracks in the country and witnessed 
many outstanding races, the most famous of which was the contest on 
April i, 1854, between Lexington and Le Compte, giants of the turf of 
that era. The old Metairie course, now a beautiful cemetery, was the 
most famous track in the United States at that time. At present racing 
is perhaps the leading sport in the city. Approximately one hundred days 
of racing, beginning on Thanksgiving Day, are held annually at the Fair 
Grounds under the auspices of the Louisiana Jockey Club. 

In 1934 the Mid- Winter Sports Association was organized for the pur 
pose of staging an annual sports carnival during the week preceding and 
following New Year s Day. The Sugar Bowl football game, vying with 
the Rose Bowl game for national interest, is played on New Year s Day 
between the outstanding team of the South and a team of championship 
caliber from some section of the Nation. The calendar of sports events 
includes an outdoor track and field meet participated in by outstanding 
national and world champions, a tennis tournament attracting ranking 
national stars, an intersectional basketball game, intercity boxing 
matches, a golf tournament, and yacht races on Lake Pontchartrain. 

A variety of trips to nearby hunting and fishing grounds add to the 
popularity of New Orleans for tourists and seasonal visitors. Within 
quick reach by road, boat, or train there are at least a score of places 
tempting to the sportsman. In the late fall and early winter duck shooting 
is good, sometimes exceptionally so, in the waters and marshes surround 
ing the city. Black bass and smaller salt-water fish alternate in abundance 
with changing tides and weather conditions in the bayous and lagoons. 
Chef Menteur and other nearby tide races afford the highest type of 
sport with large sheepshead, redfish, jackfish, and tarpon during the 
fishing ceason, which is at its best from April to October. For exclusively 
fresh-water fishing and quail and turkey hunting, it is necessary to go 
north of New Orleans. 


DURING the 1920^ practically every newspaper in New Orleans 
owned and operated its own radio station in conjunction with its daily 
paper. In addition there were a number of privately owned stations, all 
vying for recognition. One of the first musical programs to be broad 
casted in the Mississippi Valley was presented on the night of March 
30, 1922, by Station WWL of Loyola University. In the summer of 
1926, because of unfavorable weather conditions, all newspapers of the 
city discontinued operation of their stations, and the total number of 
stations in the city was reduced to six, which were recognized by the 
Federal Radio Commission when it came into existence. One of these 
stations, WJBO, has since moved to Baton Rouge, leaving five active 
stations in New Orleans. In addition to these there are a number of sta 
tions in the parish serving the police department, ships at sea, airplanes, 
etc., and several amateur stations operating under special license. 


WBNOy studios on the mezzanine floor of the St. Charles Hotel, 211 St. 
Charles St. (open during broadcasting hours; free), broadcasts on a fre 
quency of 1200 kilocycles with a power of 100 watts. The Coliseum 
Place Baptist Church, 1376 Camp Street, owns the transmitting equip 
ment. Strictly commercial programs, with electrical transcriptions pro 
viding music, are put on the air from noon to 5 P.M., and from 8 to 11 P.M. 
Time is divided with station WJBW. 

WDSU, studios at 1456 Monteleone Hotel, 214 Royal St. (open daily 8 
A.M.-10 P.M.; free), broadcasts on an assigned frequency of 1220 kilo 
cycles with a power of 1000 watts. Programs of the N.B.C. s Blue 
Network and electrical transcriptions of the World Broadcasting System 
are presented from 7 A.M. to midnight. Broadcasting of Pelican ball 



games and other local events are featured. The transmitting station is 
located at Gretna, Louisiana. 

WJBW, studios at 619 Godchaux Bldg., 527 Canal St. (open during 
broadcasting hours; free), and transmitter at 947 Howard Ave., broad 
casts on an assigned frequency of 1200 kilocycles with a power of 100 
watts from 5 to 8 P.M., and from 11 P.M. throughout the night until noon. 
Commercial programs are given, recorded music being the usual form 
of entertainment. 

WSMB, owned and operated by the Saenger Theater and the Maison 
Blanche Company, has studios on the thirteenth floor of the Maison 
Blanche Bldg., 921 Canal St. (open during broadcasting hours; free). 
Local and chain programs of the National Broadcasting Company are 
presented from 7 A.M. to midnight on an assigned frequency of 1320 
kilocycles with a power of 5000 watts. The transmitting station is located 
at the United States Naval Base in Algiers. 

WWL, studios on the second floor of the Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne 
St. (admission only by special permission of the management) , and trans 
mitting station 2 m. east of Kenner, Louisiana, on State 1, is supervised 
by Loyola University. Local and chain programs of the Columbia 
Broadcasting System are presented from 6.30 A.M. to midnight on an 
assigned frequency of 850 kilocycles with a power of 10,000 watts. 


THE development of the New Orleans press is closely linked to the 
development of native literature, and the newspapers, for many decades 
the chief cultural influence t)f the Colony, had many contributors whose 
names are now prominent in Louisiana literature. These included, 
among others, George W. Cable, Lafcadio Hearn, Henry Castellanos, 
Mollie Moore Davis, and Catherine Cole. For several months Walt 
Whitman was a New Orleans newspaperman, contributing light verse, 
essays, and short stories to the Crescent, a publication which flourished 
for a few years during the middle nineteenth century. 

The first newspapers in the city were published in both French and 
English. Set in large, badly worn type and turned out on hand presses, 
the papers devoted very little space to local current events, since news 
happenings were usually common knowledge long before the sheets 
were off the press. The columns were a melange of advertisements, clip 
pings from European newspapers, fiction, poetry, and letters from readers. 
Illustrations were limited to woodcuts of houses, boats, and trees, which 
were used over and over. 

Louis Duclot, a refugee printer from Santo Domingo, established the 
first newspaper in New Orleans in 1794. Known as Le Moniteur de la 
Louisiane, with Bombolio, Clangor, Stridor, Taratantara, Murmur as 
its motto, it was published irregularly as a weekly, semi-weekly, and tri 
weekly for a little more than twenty years, having been sanctioned by 
Governor Carondelet as the official news organ of the government. As 
the town became more cosmopolitan news sheets were published in other 
languages, but few of these survived for more than a year or so. The 
foreign-language presses were operated on Chartres Street, in the Vieux 
Carre, while most of the English publications were issued from offices 
along Camp Street, known in the early days as Newspaper Row. 

Newspapers 91 

During the early part of the nineteenth century a number of news 
papers made their appearance, the most important of which were the 
Louisiana Gazette (first English paper), L Ami des Lois, Le Courrier de la 
Louisiane, and L Abeille. The most successful and probably the best 
known of these was L Abeille, a French newspaper established in 1827 by 
Francois Delaup. This publication was issued continuously in both 
French and English for almost fifty years. In 1872 the English editions 
were discontinued, and early in February 1921 the paper was purchased 
by the Times-Picayune Publishing Company. Under the new manage 
ment L Abeille was issued weekly until 1925 when, after almost a century 
of publication, an editorial, La Fin de 1 Abeille, announced that the 
paper was going out of existence. 

The history of the Times-Picayune , the oldest present-day newspaper 
in New Orleans, epitomizes a century of journalistic development in 
Louisiana during which only those papers which combined with others 
attained any degree of longevity. The Picayune, established in 1837 by 
Francis Asbury Lumsden and George Wilkins Kendall, began a new era 
in Southern journalism. Patterned after the Penny Press of the North, 
it sold for a picayune, whence its name. The word picayune is the 
Anglicized form of picaillon, a term then in use in New Orleans to desig 
nate the smallest current coin, a piece of silver worth about six and 
one-fourth cents. 

G. W. Kendall, while reporting the Mexican War, gained national re 
nown for the Picayune by using a pony express to relay his copy to New 
Orleans, where it was first published before being forwarded to the East. 
The Picayune is given credit for being the first to use this method of news 

In 1874, at the death of E. J. Holbrook, editor, the management of 
the Picayune was taken over by his widow, better known as the poet, 
Pearl Rivers. Mrs. Holbrook is said to have been the first woman in the 
world to edit a metropolitan daily, and the first woman in the South to 
enter journalism as a profession. 

Dorothy Dix (Mrs. Elizabeth M. Gilmer) came to New Orleans in 
1896 and has maintained an advice to the lovelorn column for the 
Picayune over a period of forty years an unsurpassed record for news 
paper features. 

The present Times-Picayune is the result of numerous newspaper 
mergers since the Civil War; the New Orleans Times absorbed the Crescent 
in 1868 and in turn combined with the Democrat to form the Times- 
Democrat in 1 88 1, which merged with the Picayune in 1914 to form the 

92 Economic and Social Development 

Times-Picayune. The Democrat had been established in 1875 with Richard 
Tyler, son of President Tyler, as its first editor. Le Propagateur Catholique 
and the Deutsches Zeitung were both founded before the Civil War and 
published for several years. 

Before the outbreak of the War Between the States, Gallic journalism 
in New Orleans had increased in importance and prestige. At this period 
there began a definite decline in the use of the French language, the 
reason for which is readily apparent. Post-war poverty forced the once- 
wealthy Creole planters to forego their frequent visits abroad, and their 
sons were placed in the public schools of New Orleans instead of the uni 
versities of Europe. Here the students were taught the English language, 
a fact which resulted in a gradual break with French culture and tradi 
tion, and a waning of the influence of the French press. Subsequent 
writers have deplored the fate of the French newspapers, and the passing 
of the gay and witty Creole editors who were equally at home with pen, 
pistol and sword, and who lent such spice and color to New Orleans 
journalism. Today there is only one French newspaper, Le Courrier de la 
Nouvelle Orleans. 

The New Orleans Item, founded June n, 1877, is said to be the oldest 
afternoon newspaper in the South. The paper was established by eleven 
journeymen printers, who, out of work, banded together to form a co 
operative news publication. Mark Bigney was made managing editor 
with Edwin L. Jewel assistant. At the end of the first week, when the 
profits were distributed, each member of the staff received $2.65. 

In June of the following year, Lafcadio Hearn, who had spent a miser 
able seven months in New Orleans, sick, hungry, and out of work, was 
introduced to the editor of the Item as a literary fellow after your own 
heart. When Hearn s experience as a journalist in Cincinnati became 
known, he was given work as assistant, with a salary of ten dollars a 
week. Hearn s literary ability was recognized almost immediately, and 
he was soon given a free hand in molding the policies of the Item. Within 
a few months the paper had changed from a dry colorless sheet of ad 
vertisements, letters, and excerpts from foreign papers to a flourishing 
publication filled with local and national events, literary criticisms, 
dramatic reviews, poems, and cartoons. Hearn was soon serving, not 
only as chief editorial writer, but cartoonist and critic as well. 

In 1 88 1 John W. Fairfax gained controlling interest of the paper, 
retaining Bigney as editor until the latter s death in 1886. During these 
years the Item employed a number of prominent writers on its staff, in 
cluding, among others, J. B. Wilkinson, Henry Guy Carleton, Judge 
Alexander Walker, and Thomas G. Tracey. 

Newspapers 93 

When Fairfax sold the paper in 1894 it was purchased by Dominick 
O Malley, a stormy Irishman who had come to New Orleans from Cin 
cinnati shortly before. Scathing editorials began to appear in the columns 
of the Item, as O Malley denounced the political scandals of what he 
contemptuously dubbed the boodle council. Fist fights and cane 
lashings, as a result of these editorials, were frequent occurrences, with 
fatalities not uncommon. 

The Item, now in its sixtieth year, was begun as an independent pub 
lication. Today, while perhaps more conservative than a great number 
of other Southern newspapers, it is strictly a Democratic paper. 

The most important newspapers at present published in New Orleans, 
in addition to the Times-Picayune and the Item, are the States, an evening 
daily founded in 1880 and owned and published by the Times-Picayune 
Publishing Company, and the Morning Tribune, established in 1924 
and now a tabloid, published by the Item. In addition to these there are 
more than forty other news publications issued regularly in the city, 
including weekly, monthly, and quarterly periodicals. Among these are 
several commercial, labor, trade, school, and religious publications. 

Straight News Publications 

American Progress, 822 Perdido St., published monthly by John D. 
Klorer, is a political organ established in 1933 by the late Senator Huey 
P. Long. It carries no advertising and is not published for profit. 

Herald, 1124 Lafayette St. (Algiers), is a weekly newspaper published 
each Thursday by Dr. C. V. Kraft. 

Louisiana Weekly, 632 S. Rampart St., is a Negro publication edited by 
Mayme Osby Brown. 

Morning Tribune, 722-730 Union St., is a tabloid published daily except 
Sundays, when it is combined with the New Orleans Item. The paper is 
edited by Marshall Ballard. 

New Orleans Item, 722-730 Union St., edited by Marshall Ballard, is a 
daily evening newspaper which combines with the Morning Tribune on 

New Orleans States, 615 North St., a daily evening newspaper edited by 
J. E. Crown, is under the same management as the Times-Picayune, 
having been purchased by the latter in 1933. 

Times-Picayune, 615 North St., edited by L. K. Nicholson, is the oldest 
daily newspaper published in New Orleans, having been founded in 1837. 

Weekly Crusader, 417 Canal Bank Building, is published by Sidney W. 

94 Economic and Social Development 

Foreign Language Publications 

Courrier de la Nouvelle Orleans (New Orleans Courier), 702 Camp St., 
printed in both English and French, is published twice a month by Andre 
Laf argue and Mrs. J. G. de Baroncelli. 

Deutsche Zeitung (The German Gazette), 200 South Galvez St., edited by 
Walter Zachiedrich, is published weekly by the Deutsches Haus for 
members of the organization. 

II Messaggero (The Messenger), 941 Royal St., an Italian weekly, is 
edited by Paul Montelepre. 

La Voce Coloniale (The Colonial Voice), 604 Iberville St., an Italian 
weekly, is edited by Joseph R. Colleta. 

Vox Latina (The Latin Voice), 702 Canal St., a Spanish newspaper, is 
published twice a month by Joaquin Barcenas. 

Labor, Trade, and Commercial Journals 

American Cotton Grower, 535 Gravier St., is published monthly under 
the editorship of Stanley Andrews. 

American Insurer, 217 Carondelet St., is published monthly by Louis 

Cotton Trade Journal, 810 Union St., is published weekly under the 
editorship of Will Branan. 

Daily Journal of Commerce, 427 Camp St., is edited by A. L. France and 
E. Washofsky. 

Federationist, 520 Conti St., is published each Friday by William L. 

Louisiana Grocer, 217 Pan-American Building, is published monthly by 
the Retail Grocers Association. 

New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, 1430 Tulane Ave., edited by 
John H. Musser, is published by the Louisiana State Medical Society. 
Proceedings of the Louisiana Engineering Society is published bi-monthly 
by the Louisiana Engineering Society, with James M. Robert as editor. 
Rice, Sugar, and Coffee Journal, 201 Bienville St., the official organ of 
the respective industries in the South, is edited and published by R. J. 

Southern Plumber, 207 Board of Trade Annex, edited by Theodore A. 
Walters, is published monthly by the New Orleans Association of Master 

Sugar Bulletin, 407 Carondelet St., is published bi-monthly by Reginald 

School and Religious Publications 

Catholic Action of the South, 712 Louisiana Building, is published weekly 
by the Rev. Peter M. H. Wynhoven. 

Christian Advocate of the Southwest, 631 Baronne St., is a colored publica 
tion issued monthly by L. H. King. 

Newspapers 95 

Jewish Ledger, 938 Lafayette St., is published weekly by Dr. Mendel 

Lagniappe, Newcomb College, is published quarterly by Newcomb 
College students. 

Maroon, Loyola University, is published weekly during the regular 
school session by Loyola students. 

New Orleans Christian Advocate, 512 Camp St., is published each Thurs 
day by W. L. Duren. 

Tidane Hullabaloo, Bienville Hall, Tulane University, is published weekly 
by Tulane students. 


Court Records, 430 Chartres St., is published daily by K. P. Montgomery. 
Louisiana Conservation Review, Department of Conservation, New Or 
leans Courthouse Building, 400 Royal St., is published quarterly with 
James P. Guillot as editor. Free distribution. 

Louisiana Digest, edited by E. R. Greenlaw, 6831 West End Boulevard, 
is the official journal of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana, and is 
published monthly. 

Menagerie, 2640 Upperline St., is a small literary magazine published 
irregularly by Bennett Augustin. 

New Orleans Directory, published annually by Soards, 502 Stern Building, 
548 Baronne St. 

Police Reporter, 623 Godchaux Building, John C. Roth, editor, is pub 
lished weekly. 


THE story of art in New Orleans begins with the almost legendary figure 
of Ferdinand Salazar (or Latizar), the artist whose full-length portrait 
of Don Andres Almonester hangs in the Cathedral. Salazar also painted 
portraits of Trudeau, the Spanish surveyor, and of Madame Trudeau, 
about 1769, but beyond these few works nothing is known of him. There 
is a tradition that an even earlier artist, Miguel Garcia, came to Louisiana 
with Bienville, but there are no facts to substantiate this. 

During the French and Spanish regimes the inhabitants of New Orleans 
had little time for other than practical pursuits. Objects of art in the 
finer homes and in public buildings were almost without exception im 
ported from Europe. 

Building design, however, made notable progress, and presented the 
opportunity for a combination of the constructive and the artistic. The 
early New Orleans architects usually followed the styles then prevalent 
in European countries, as evidenced by many examples of French and 
Spanish influence in older buildings of the Vieux Carre; gradually, how 
ever, various originalities crept into their work, and ultimately a dis 
tinctive Creole style was developed. 

Possibly no single feature is more typical of this Creole architecture 
than the delicate ironwork which decorated the finer buildings. Of the 
two distinct kinds, wrought iron and cast iron, the wrought decorations 
are the older. 

After the annexation of Louisiana to the United States, New Orleans 
began to grow rapidly in wealth and population, attracting both visitors 
and new residents in increasing numbers. Artists from other American 
cities began to come here, lured partly by the mild winters, but princi 
pally by the prospect of finding a lucrative field for their work. Perhaps 

Arts and Crafts 97 

the optimism of the earliest of these pioneer painters was justified, for 
still others came among them many prominent artists of that day. 

Artists from France, Italy, Spain, and England were drawn to the 
city. Many of them established studios in old homes in the Vieux Carre, 
which were admirably suited to that purpose. Dominique Canova, 
Pomarede and Ciceri, members of that group, were instrumental in 
founding the Bohemian center which has long colorfully characterized 
the French Quarter, and to which at a later date Degas, Wikstrom, and 
others added their influence. At times the supply of painters exceeded 
the demand for portraits, and that the artists sometimes suffered priva 
tion as recorded in letters and journals like those of Audubon is not 
surprising. Many of the better portraits and pictures which came out of 
that interesting era unfortunately most of them unsigned are still 
in the possession of old families of the city; others have been scattered 
far and wide through auction sales, but a considerable number have been 
preserved in the Cabildo, the City Hall, the New Orleans Courthouse, 
and other public buildings. 

Perhaps the painter most closely identified with New Orleans is John 
James Audubon, who first came to the city in 1821. The artist-naturalist 
was at that time working on his monumental Birds of America, and 
made studies of game birds brought to the French Market, meanwhile 
earning his livelihood by painting portraits. Audubon s diary is filled 
with many vivid word-pictures of his experiences in New Orleans. He 
seems to have written the journal hurriedly, for there is carelessness in 
his spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This is especially true of some 
of the lines in which he made reference to his contemporaries lines 
not always complimentary, and sometimes caustic. He also has left 
descriptions of the various residences he occupied while living in the 
city, one of which was in Barracks Street near the corner of that and 
Royal Street between Two Shops of Grocers and divided from them 
and our Yellow Landlady by Mere Board Partitions. . . . Another entry, 
dated October 21, 1821, is: Rented une Chambre garnie in Rue St. 

Anne No. 29 for $16 per Month A later inscription records the 

rental of a house on Dauphine Street. 

Audubon seems to have disapproved, too, of the city s social life of 
that day, making mention elsewhere in the diary of f rench Gayety that 
really sicked me. However, he must have found the New Orleans 
atmosphere at least conducive to work, for by the fall of 1821 he had 
completed 62 drawings of Birds & Plants, 3 Quadrupeds, 2 snakes, and 
50 Portraits of all sorts. In 1822 he left the city for Natchez, going 

98 Economic and Social Development 

from there to Louisville and Philadelphia. He returned to New Orleans 
in 1837, but spent most of his time in the Barataria section, painting and 

A complete set of the elephantine edition of Audubon s Birds of 
America can be seen at the Cabildo; the artist s drawing of his son, 
James Woodhouse Audubon, is displayed on the second floor of the 
Cabildo, Room B. 

A contemporary of Audubon was John Wesley Jarvis, a native of 
England and the nephew of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. 
Jarvis, who was an annual winter visitor to the city from 1816 to 1834, 
was considered by his contemporaries an artist of astonishing powers/ 
and one of the best portrait painters of his day. He displayed remarkable 
speed in his work, often completing six portraits within a week. He, too, 
kept a diary, which shows that, unlike many painters, he did not lack 
financial reward for his art. One of his visits to New Orleans is described 
as follows: My purse and pocket were empty. I spent 3000 dollars in 
six months, and brought back 3000 to New York. 

In character Jarvis was erratic: his studio and living quarters were in 
a constant state of disorder, he was careless of his appearance, and his 
peculiarities plainly stamped him an eccentric. At one time he was ac 
customed to wear a long coat heavily trimmed with furs, and took two 
large dogs with him wherever he went. Audubon once made an effort 
to collaborate with him, but their temperaments were entirely incom 

In the Cabildo are two oil portraits by Jarvis, that of Armand Beauvais, 
Governor of Louisiana 1829-30, and that of Louis Philippe de RofEgnac, 
Mayor of New Orleans 1820-28. There is also a painting on wood said 
to represent the Lafitte brothers and Dominique You, and to have been 
painted by Jarvis, who was friendly with the pirates, at their rendezvous 
on Grand Isle. 

John Vanderlyn, called by Audubon the historical painter, was in 
New Orleans from 1820 to 1830. While best known for his portraits, he 
painted a number of splendid panoramas, of which his Versailles is 
considered best. A copy of Vanderlyn s portrait of Andrew Jackson, for 
which Audubon posed for the body, is now in the Cabildo. 

Among other well-remembered painters of this period were Matthew 
Harris Jouette, a pupil of Gilbert Stuart, who painted Lafayette on his 
American visit in 1824-25; Theodore S. Moise and Jacques Amans, who 
won the prize of a thousand dollars offered by the Municipal Council in 
1844 for a painting of Andrew Jackson on horseback; Jean Francois 

Arts and Crafts 99 

Vallee, a Frenchman, who painted the portrait of Jackson best liked by 
the old warrior himself; Duval, another Frenchman, who did the best- 
known portrait of Governor Claiborne; Enoch Wood Perry, who painted 
John Slidell, and an unusual portrait of Jefferson Davis with a map 
of the United States for a background; and A. G. Powers, who executed 
a full-length painting of General Zachary Taylor. The French artist 
Lion also lived in New Orleans for many years (1830 to 1845) and painted 
many fine portraits. 

In the meantime, as the city s population and wealth increased, skilled 
artisans established themselves in New Orleans. Many of their produc 
tions, built to suit the ideals of a class whose members were wealthy and 
cultured, were exquisite in both material and design. In most of their 
work the French influence was predominant. 

Fine furniture and furnishings had been a feature of the wealthy homes 
of New Orleans since the city s earliest days. In Colonial times these 
were brought over from Europe; later American immigrants also 
brought European importations, as well as Early American pieces. 

The earliest locally made furniture now extant was fashioned by car 
penters from native cypress. In style these chests and tables and chairs 
resembled French Provincial pieces. Beds, because of the necessity of 
mosquito baires, were always four-posted. By 1822, however, there were 
more than fifty cabinet-makers listed in the city directory. In the period 
that followed (1822-63), Mallard, Seignouret, and Seibrecht, all of whom 
had their shops on Rue Royale, were outstanding. Mallard was especially 
noted for his duchesse table, an ornately carved dressing-table. Sei 
gnouret, whose work was less detailed than Mallard s, stamped his best 
creations French chairs and four-posted beds with the letter S. 

There are still some shops in the Vieux Carre where excellent repro 
ductions of old pieces are made. Antique shops on Royal and other streets 
in the Quarter are filled with articles both imported and collected from 
old New Orleans homes. 

Other woodwork of note is to be found in the simple but beautifully 
proportioned mantels and paneling of the earlier homes. Marble mantels 
were imported at a later date, as were designs for plaster ornamentation 
of walls and ceilings in the general tradition of the Greek Revival. 

In addition to the architectural ironwork already discussed, local 
smiths produced the usual household utensils such as the chaudiere d trois 
a three-legged iron pot with a handle, used especially for cooking 
gravies along with such objects as the slave collar, now to be seen at 
the Cabildo, fitted with bells that would ring whenever the wearer moved 

ioo Economic and Social Development 

his head. The wrought-iron triangular strap hinges still to be seen on the 
storm blinds of many old houses were known as * smith or smithy 
hinges and were frequently hammered out by slaves. Cast-iron benches 
in elaborate grape and flower designs were placed in front of family 
tombs, so that the bereaved might rest while they mourned. Only at a 
much later date were these employed as garden furniture; and even 
today they are still called cemetery benches. 

In the cemeteries was to be found another interesting example of local 
craftsmanship: everlasting wreaths made of beads or shells. In some in 
stances the same wreath was brought out year after year on All Saints 
Day to decorate the family tomb. 

The tradition of fine French embroidery and needlework, brought to 
New Orleans by the Ursulines in the eighteenth century, has been con 
tinued by them and others, notably the nuns of the House of the Good 
Shepherd, to the present. Elaborate church vestments, in memoriam 
embroideries with the face of the deceased in white against a black 
background, and the more usual samplers form interesting museum pieces. 
The Ursulines also made a highly valued point lace, petit point tapestries, 
a cork lace, so called because it was made on a piece of cork into which 
pins had been stuck, and quilts. Early quilting designs included the 
palm, the oak, and the banana. There was also a log cabin applique 

In the matter of dress the wealthier classes followed the French fashion 
books as closely as possible, the French Opera and the Carnival balls 
affording opportunity for elaborate costume designing. Atakapas 
cottonade, a locally made cotton cloth of indigo interwoven with white, 
was used extensively for men s suits in the nineteenth century; and until 
the present decade, when they became popular elsewhere, New Orleans 
was one of the few places in the United States where men habitually wore 
linens, seersuckers, and other wash suits. Field Negroes were long dis 
tinguished by red madras handkerchiefs imported from the West Indies 
which they wore tied about their heads; house Negroes by blue. The 
latter were better educated and held themselves socially superior to the 
field workers. Even today Negro house servants frequently refuse to 
wear red dust caps. 

Although as early as 1822 there were twenty-four silversmiths and 
goldsmiths in the city, no really local designs in jewelry or silverware 
seem to have originated here. Most Creole ladies wore brooches of black 
onyx or enamel outlined with gold scrollwork. Sometimes the black 
stone was left plain, sometimes ornamented with a gold or jeweled design 

Arts and Crafts ior 

inlaid or in relief. In silverware the French thread pattern was the 
most popular. Several examples of the work of Hyde and Goodrich are 
to be seen at the Delgado Museum. 

It is said that Hyde and Goodrich were put out of business for manu 
facturing and supplying guns to the Confederate soldiers, but it is sur 
prising how few guns, swords, and knives were made in New Orleans. 
Most of the examples that turn up in museums and antique shops were 
imported, even when they bore the stamp of a local dealer. The only 
knives manufactured to any great extent locally were knives for opening 

From 1887 until 1889 the Hernandez Brothers manufactured china of 
exquisite craftsmanship in their shop on Carondelet Walk. They came 
from France, where they worked in the factory at Sevres, and the glaze 
and composition of their own productions were equal to Sevres china. 
The china was unsigned, white with a blue border and a raised monogram. 
Examples of a white and gold china, said to date back to the forties, and 
an elaborate flowered china are also extant; but the names of their 
makers are not known. 

As might be expected in a city as French as New Orleans, perfumes were 
highly prized ; and the manufacture of certain local scents is still an in 
teresting industry in the city. Jessamine, sweet olive, and magnolia are 
among the most popular. Vetiver, a root from the East Indies that 
grows with ease near New Orleans in the country around Covington and 
Hammond, has been used as a sachet in the linen closets of Creole ladies 
for generations. It is not known which if any of these were in the stock 
of the Benjamin Franklin, essence maker, who in 1830 had his place 
of business on Tchoupitoulas near Julia. But it is certain that he was 
supplied with rice powder, rose essence, and a hair pomade made with 
oil of Bergamot an oil of frequent use today in Voodoo potions. 

Fans, hats, baskets, brooms, and chair seats were all made from the 
native palmetto, known locally as latanier. Strips of lalanier are still 
carried by Negro chimney sweeps, and the fronds are still to be seen used 
as thatching on the homes of occasional trappers, fishermen, and squat 
ters. In hot weather it was long the custom for the lady of the house to 
supply her guests with palmetto fans. Frequently these were bound 
along the edges with cloth from the scrap box and ornamented with a 
rosette or a bow. Ladies in mourning had their fans bound in black. 

For many years Choctaw and Chitimacha Indians sold their reed cane 
baskets at the French Market. A display of these baskets, as well as 
several other examples of the craftsmanship of Louisiana Indians, may 
be seen at the Cabildo. 

IO2 Economic and Social Development 

These Indians must have greatly interested George Catlin, the noted 
painter of Indian life, who paid several visits to New Orleans in the late 
forties. A portrait of a woman of color wearing a tignon and said to be 
Marie Laveau, the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, is attributed to 
Catlin. A copy by Frank Schneider now hangs in the Cabildo. The 
identity of the portrait is, however, not authenticated. The appearance 
greatly resembles a Choctaw woman of the time. 

The Bee for February 21, 1844, speaks of West s picture, Christ Heal 
ing the Sick, being on exhibition in the Cathedral. Forty thousand people 
are said to have viewed it at twenty-five cents admission. The occasion 
for the notice was furnished by a heavy rainstorm which leaked into the 
church and wet the picture. 

As the city developed, the era of large buildings began with the erection 
of the St. Louis and the St. Charles Hotels, the City Hall, and numerous 
churches, theaters, and splendid private homes. This opened a field for 
the work of decorators and mural painters. 

Dominique Canova, a nephew of the famous Canova of Napoleon s 
day, was engaged to do the frescoes in the St. Louis Hotel, which were 
later purchased by the French Government when the hotel was de 
molished following the storm of 1915. Canova came directly from France 
to New Orleans, and remained a number of years teaching and painting. 
The fine mural decorations in the Robb Mansion, now the Baptist Bible 
Institute, are also his work. 

Ciceri, another French painter, who came to New Orleans in 1859 to 
decorate the French Opera House, remained to paint and teach, be 
coming widely known for his pastels and gouaches, firasme Humbrecht 
<:ame from St. Louis to paint the walls of St. Louis Cathedral in 1872, 
and returned in 1892 to retouch them for the Cathedral Centennial. 

The best known New Orleans work of Leon Pomarede, also a French 
painter, is the group of three large murals in Saint Patrick s Church on 
Camp Street, which are copies of famous works of Italian masters. 

By 1844 New Orleans was sufficiently interested in art to support a 
gallery for the exhibition and sale of foreign, American, and local works 
of art. Known as the National Gallery of Paintings, it was located at 13 
St. Charles Street (old number). Sully and Stewart were said to have 
held exhibits of their paintings here. The last notable sale was that of 
the collection of Colonel James Robb, February 26, 1859, which included 
paintings by Rubens, Salvator Rosa, David, and Horace Vernet. 

An added impetus was given to art in New Orleans in 1847 when a 
-collection of three hundred and fifty paintings, assembled in Italy and 

Arts and Crafts 103 

sent to America in an unsuccessful attempt to establish a national gal 
lery, was auctioned in the rotunda of the St. Louis Hotel. The pictures 
found a ready sale among the planters and the wealthy leisure class. 

The Civil War, however, caused a break in artistic activities, and 
several years elapsed before pre-war interest in art revived. Alexander 
Alaux, one of Ernest Ciceri s most brilliant pupils, became noted for his 
portraits, historical pictures, and exquisite miniatures. A number of his 
miniatures formed part of the Cusachs Collection in the Cabildo. One 
of his last paintings, the panoramic Discovery of the Mississippi River 
by De Soto, is in the State Capitol at Jackson, Mississippi. 

Edgar Degas visited relatives here in 1873, and painted them at work 
in his Cotton Factor s Office. Of this picture, which recently hung in 
the Degas Exhibition at Philadelphia, Time (November 23, 1936) said: 

In 1873 Painter Degas went to N. O. to visit his uncle Michel and his 
two younger brothers, Rene and Achille, who were working there in the 
cotton house. Brother Edgar painted an excellent view of his relatives 
during office hours, which hung last week in Philadelphia s Exhibition. 
Uncle Michel in his silk hat and frock coat sits in the foreground peering 
at a sample of cotton. Behind him brother Rene is sprawled in a chair, 
reading a newspaper, while customers finger samples and clerks tot up 
books. When the picture was painted, Louisiana had a Negro Acting 
Governor, P. B. S. Pinchback. The director of the little provincial museum 
at Pau in Southern France snapped up the cotton market picture for $200 
when it was exhibited in 1876. It is valued today at about $75,000. The 
picture last attracted attention in Paris at the colonial Exposition of 1931 
where it was shown as a memento of France s lost colony, Louisiana. 

In the i88o s a revival set in, and art flourished as never before. The 
Southern Art Union was organized in 1883, and held at least one formal 
exhibition in a gallery which was opened at 203 Canal Street (old number) 
near Dauphine Street. The membership of the Union rose steadily to 
five hundred, when the feminine influence became too strong, and an at 
tempt to add art embroidery to the list of interests resulted in the with 
drawal of the professional painters. 

The revival in the eighties brought many good painters to New Orleans 
and developed some excellent local talent. Among the most famous 
visitors may be mentioned George Innes and William Keith, who married 
a New Orleans woman. A characteristic story is told of Innes while in 
New Orleans. A local artist called at his room in the St. Charles Hotel on 
Mardi Gras just as the Rex parade was passing and, to his amazement, 
found Innes quietly painting, utterly unmoved by the riotous carnival 
in the street below. Keith is best known for his California landscapes, 

IO4 Economic and Social Development 

but many of his paintings done here were highly regarded and com 
manded a good price. 

B. A. Wikstrom, a Norwegian who came to New Orleans in 1883, was 
widely known as a painter of marines and the designer of numerous 
Mardi Gras pageants. He promoted a new organization in 1885, known 
as the Artists Association of New Orleans, which held exhibitions annu 
ally on Camp Street until 1899. In 1901 William and Ellsworth Wood 
ward, in charge of the Newcomb Art School, promoted a new group called 
the Arts and Exhibitions Club, which merged with the Artists Associa 
tion in 1904. The resulting organization, the Art Association of New 
Orleans, since its inception, has been the artistic mainstay of Delgado 

Joseph Pennell, who made sketches for George Cable s Creoles of 
Louisiana, had a studio on Royal Street in 1883; and William Hamilton 
Gibson spent some time here in 1886 making sketches of New Orleans 
scenes for Charles Dudley Warner s articles in Harper s Magazine. 

Richard Clague is noted for his French Market scenes, one of which 
hangs in the Cabildo, and for his Louisiana landscapes. Paul Poincy, 
born in New Orleans and educated in Paris, did many splendid portraits, 
pictures of children, and religious subjects. A number of his pictures now 
hang in various churches and institutions of the city; perhaps the best 
known of these are the portrait of Archbishop Perche and the large 
painting (done in collaboration with Moise) of a Volunteer Fire Depart 
ment Parade, now in the City Hall. Andres Molinary, a native of 
Gibraltar, in the years he spent here painted many of the portraits which 
line the walls of the New Orleans Courthouse and the Charity Hospital. 
Molinary also conducted an art school. 

Achille Parelli, a French sculptor and painter, some of whose work is 
in the Delgado Museum, spent a number of years in New Orleans, and 
died here in 1899; Achille Peretti, often confused with him, was an Italian 
who came to New Orleans in 1885. His paintings in the Church of Saint 
John the Baptist on Dryades Street, and his copy of Raphael s Saint 
Stephen in Saint Stephen s Church on Napoleon Avenue are well 

Other artists who should be mentioned include William H. Buck, who 
painted Louisiana landscapes; August Nogieri, whose paintings of the 
Lee and the Natchez are now in the Cabildo ; Edward Livingston, a 
pleasing landscape artist; E. D. B. Fabrino Julio, born in St. Helena, 
painter of the Last Meeting of Generals Lee and Jackson, and Miss 
Jenny Wilde, granddaughter of Richard Henry Wilde, the poet, who is 

Arts and Crafts 105 

remembered both as an artist and for her work as a designer of carnival 

Joe Jefferson, the actor, who maintained a home in Louisiana, followed 
painting as a hobby all through his life. Francis Wilson, his biographer, 

On an occasion ... I had called upon him at New Orleans. After greeting 
me he said: I don t give you my hand/ presenting his elbow to be shaken, 
because it is so dirty. Then I observed how besmeared he was. His face 
had a streak of green and yellow, and his fingers were shining with all the 
colors of the painter s palette. ... I asked him if it were true that he would 
rather paint than act. He replied it most emphatically was. 

Oscar Wilde on his visit to New Orleans expressed the feeling that the 
Negro, with his picturesqueness of manner and dress, had been largely 
overlooked as an interesting art subject. But the Negro at that time 
occupied virtually no position in the city s art either as subject or 
producer. Julian Hudson, the one exception, was an octoroon, whose 
portraits were highly praised. 

Among the artists of a later date, A. J. Drysdale, painter of misty 
Louisiana bayous and live oaks in an impressionistic style distinctively 
his own, was perhaps the most prolific. P. M. Westfeldt was an excellent 
water colorist. Robert B. Mayfield, an artist who also devoted part of his 
time to newspaper work, is remembered for his fine New Orleans sketches. 
The late Charles Woodward Hutson, who began to paint when past 
middle age, won the Blanche Benjamin prize for Louisiana landscape 
when he was more than eighty. Later, when the picture was exhibited in 
New York, critics stated that it was obviously the work of a young man 
of surprising talent who should be encouraged. 

The late Ronald Hargrave spent several years in New Orleans. Aside 
from his portraits remaining in the city a series of his colored etchings 
hang in the Roosevelt Hotel and in Arnaud s Restaurant. 

Ellsworth Woodward, Dean of the Newcomb Art School, and painter 
of both portraits and landscapes, has long been identified with art in 
New Orleans. His most recent work of importance is a mural decoration 
in the new Criminal Courts Building at Broad Street and Tulane Avenue. 
He is also known for his etchings and water colors. His brother, William, 
is likewise well known for portraits and landscapes. There is an interest 
ing collection of ten portraits of former faculty members by William 
Woodward in the Faculty Room at Tulane University. 

A magazine, called Arts and Letters, issued bi-monthly, and sponsored 
by Wikstrom and the Woodwards, existed for one year 1887. It con- 

io6 Economic and Social Development 

tained fine etchings and literary material by the artists and writers of that 
day, and deserved a better fate. 

Today a long line of artists, many of whom are in the midst of their 
careers, either live in New Orleans or make frequent visits. Charles Bien, 
Laura Bodebender, Douglas Brown, George Castleden, Josephine 
Crawford, Boyd Cruise, Caroline Durieux, Xavier Gonzalez, Weeks Hall, 
Knute Heldner, Rita Hovey-King, Catherine Howell, George Izvolsky, 
Alberta Kinsey, Jeannette LeBoeuf, Myron Lechay, Olive Leonhart, 
John McCrady, Clarence Millet, Paul and Jane Ninas, Nell Pomeroy 
O Brien, Clay Parker, Gardner Reed, Charles Reinike, Margaret Robin 
son, Helen Samuels, Claire Silber, Gideon Stanton, Will Stevens, Jacques 
De Tarnowsky, Helen Turner, Dan Whitney, and Ella Wood are only a 
few of those who have won recognition. Gertrude Roberts Smith, now 
retired, is well known for her work at Newcomb with textiles and design; 
Inez Lugano for miniatures; Sadie Irvine and Martha Westfeldt for 
pottery; Anita Muras and Mary Butler for jewelry and silver. Sculptors 
include Albert Rieker, a native of Germany, who has done outstanding 
work both here and abroad; Enrique Alferez, a young Mexican sculptor, 
who is also winning rapid recognition; Angela Gregory, and Rai Graner 
Murray. Miss Kinsey s studio at 823 Royal, and Mr. Rieker s at 628 
Toulouse, are usually open to visitors. 

In 1928 a group of young Negro men, encouraged by Fannie Williams, 
Negro teacher, formed the Little Arts and Crafts Club and obtained 
instruction in art by mail. They gave three exhibitions of their work, one 
at the Dryades Street Public Library and two at the Negro Y.M.C.A. 
The work was crude, but showed promise, and deserves mention as an 
indication of the Negro s capacity for and interest in art. 

Richmond Barthe, young Negro sculptor, passed his youth in New 
Orleans, where his modeling of small clay animals attracted the attention 
of a local critic. He studied at the Art Institute in Chicago, and has 
within the last few years gained national recognition. Several of his 
bronzes are in the Whitney Museum in New York, and he has exhibited 
elsewhere in New York and in Paris. His bust of Roland Hayes is well 
known. Recently he designed an eighty-foot frieze for a Negro audi 
torium in Harlem. 

New Orleans has two well-recognized schools of art. The School of Art, 
Newcomb College, Tulane University, 1229 Broadway, offers, for girls 
only, a regular four-year course in art with special classes in pottery, 
ceramics, interior decoration, bookbinding, jewelry designing, and model 
ing. A gallery is maintained in which oil paintings, water colors, and 
pastels are always on display. An outstanding department in the art 


*> ^ 



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SK. , 











(Bronze by Richmond Barth6) 



*&ak v 


Arts and Crafts 107 

school is the pottery division. Its product has gained international recog 
nition, mainly through the work of Joseph F. Meyer, prominent figure in 
the development of Gulf Coast pottery, who was engaged as a thrower at 
Newcomb for some thirty years, and the late Juanita Gonzales, Instructor 
in Pottery from 1931 to 1935. A talented sculptress, Miss Gonzales was 
noted in ceramics for her research work in the development of glazes and 
enamels. The fine collection of pottery on display has won one interna 
tional and several national awards. 

The Arts and Crafts School, 712 Royal St., was organized by the Arts 
and Crafts Club in 1922 to furnish an opportunity for training to those 
interested in art. At the beginning, the subjects offered were limited to 
painting, but the school now furnishes a complete art course, including 
oils, charcoal, still-life, landscapes, perspective, water color, sculpture, 
design, and criticism. Children s classes are conducted in drawing, poster- 
painting, and clay. The school operates from October i to May 30, with 
classes from 9.30 to 4.30. Night classes are also offered from 8 to 10. 
Exhibits by nationally known artists are held every two or three weeks, 
and there is a general student show at the end of the term. The school is 
under the direction of a committee, of which Xavier Gonzalez is chairman. 

Dillard University, 2300 Gentilly Road, in addition to art instruction, 
holds six exhibits each year, an annual feature being the exhibit, through 
the co-operation of the Harmon Foundation, of the work of nationally 
distinguished Negro artists. A permanent collection of paintings, prints, 
and photographs by Negro artists is steadily being enlarged. An Arts 
Quarterly, stressing creative efforts among Negroes, and including general 
information on art development, is published by the University. 

Private classes are also held by individual artists throughout the city. 
The Reinike Academy of Art, 632 Royal St., has a small gallery where 
students work is placed on exhibit. 

The Art Association of New Orleans, organized in 1900, promotes the 
appreciation of all branches of esthetics. The association, which meets 
at the Delgado Museum of Art, has a permanent collection of paintings, 
drawings, and prints, some of which are loaned to the museum at in 
tervals during which special exhibits are arranged in monthly series. 
Annual scholarships are awarded at the exhibits. 

The Fine Arts Club was chartered in 1916 by a group of New Orleans 
women interested in the study and advancement of the fine arts. Activ 
ities center at Newcomb College, where semi-monthly lectures are given 
and social meetings are held three times a year. The club co-operates 
with museums and art organizations of the city in promoting public ap 
preciation of cultural studies, and awards occasional prizes to art students 
showing unusual ability in some field. 

The New Orleans Art League, 632 Toulouse St., organized in 1927 by a 
group of professional artists, meets monthly and holds annual exhibits 
at Delgado Museum. Prizes are occasionally awarded for compositions 
of exceptional merit. 

io8 Economic and Social Development 

The Southern States Art League has for its object the union of local art 
groups and individual artists and patrons, and the promotion of art in 
the South. It was organized in Charleston, S.C., in 1921, and since then 
annual exhibitions have been held in various Southern cities. Mr. 
Ellsworth Woodward has been President of the League since its inception, 
except for one year, and Miss Ethel Hutson has served as Secretary- 
Treasurer since 1924. 

The Federal Art Project of Louisiana, under the direction of Gideon 
Stanton, has produced much interesting creative work as well as draw 
ings and research for the Index of American Design. 

The most important art collections in the city available to the general 
public are at the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art at City Park and the 
Louisiana State Museum in the Cabildo. The Linton-Surget Collection 
at Tulane University is also noteworthy. Commercial galleries include 
the Reed Art Gallery, 520 Royal St., Lieutaud s, 529 Royal St., and the 
Art Shop, conducted by Dr. I. M. Cline at 622 St. Peter St. In the 
French Quarter, numerous antique shops contain valuable objects of 
artistic worth. 

On the mezzanine floor of the St. Charles Hotel there is a permanent 
exhibit of paintings by both American and European artists. The col 
lection includes two Wikstroms and a series of New Orleans scenes by 
Robert W. Grafton and R. O. Griffith. Grafton also painted portraits 
of a number of prominent New Orleanians as did Luis Graner, who 
likewise was in the city for some time. Other permanent exhibits of both 
contemporary and earlier artists may be seen in the mezzanines of the 
Roosevelt Hotel and the Saenger Theater, and in the D. H. Holmes 
Company s restaurant. 

Public murals are to be seen at the Shushan Airport (by Xavier Gon 
zalez), the Roosevelt Hotel (by Paul Ninas), the Criminal Court Building 
(by Ellsworth Woodward), the United Fruit Company, 321 St. Charles 
St. (by William Woodward), and the Army Supply Base, 4400 Dauphine 
St. (by Ella Miriam Wood). 

For several years a picturesque feature of New Orleans art life was 
the open-air picture fair held in the early spring in the alleys adjoining 
the Saint Louis Cathedral. Discontinued in 1935 and 1936 it was revived 
in 1937, and is to be held annually as part of the Spring Fiesta. 


IN THE cultural life developed in New Orleans between 1820 and 1860, 
literature was well represented a literature written almost entirely in 
French and inspired by the French Romantic writers. Indeed, Chateau 
briand, the great French exponent of Romanticism, in his brilliant 
novels of the Louisiana Territory, Atala (1801) and Rene (1802), had 
first made Louisiana writers aware of the literary possibilities of their 

The excellent French newspapers and revues published in New Orleans 
had a large share in the creation of this native literature, opening their 
pages generously to poems, short stories, and novels. By 1850 there were 
fifty-two writers of sufficient importance in the city to be included in 
Charles Testut s Portraits Litteraires de la Nouvelle Orleans. Much of the 
writing borrowed merely the weaknesses of the Romantic style without 
its compensating beauty; but when it is remembered that there existed 
no local literary background and that, as citizens of the United States 
using the language of another country, these writers were isolated 
both from America and France, the literary accomplishment appears 

The two best-known writers of this early period were the gifted Rou- 
quette brothers, Dominique and Adrien. The sons of a wealthy New 
Orleans merchant, whose home with its monogrammed balcony can still 
be seen at 413 Royal Street, Dominique and Adrien were educated in 
France. Each wrote his first book, a collection of poems, in Paris, and 
was acclaimed by leading French writers Victor Hugo, Beranger, 
Barthelemy, Deschamps, Sainte-Beuve. Dominique published only two 
collections of poems, M eschacebeennes (1839) and Fleurs d Ameriguc 
(1856), though he continued as a sort of unofficial bard of New Orleans 
until his death many years afterward. Adrien, who shortly after his Les 
Savanes appeared in Paris (1841) had become a missionary among the 
Choctaw Indians near New Orleans, continued writing throughout his 

no Economic and Social Development 

life. His most noteworthy effort besides Les Savanes was the pantheistic 
novel of Indian life, La Nouvelle Atala (1879), pronounced by Lafcadio 
Hearn the most idyllic work in the literature of Louisiana. 5 The pre 
vailing theme of both Rouquettes was the beauty of Louisiana scenery 
and love for their native State. 

While lyric poets predominated among these early writers, there were 
many who were fascinated with history. The Battle of New Orleans was 
celebrated in such works as Tullius St. Ceran s poems, Mil huit cent 
quatorze et mil huit cent quinze, and Urbain David s ten-canto epic, Les 
Anglais a la Louisiane en 1814 et 1815. The rebellion of 1768 against 
Spanish domination in Louisiana inspired the historical novel Louisiana 
by Armand Garreau, and the dramas, Les Martyrs de la Louisiane, by 
Auguste Lussan and France et Espagne by Placide Canonge, a talented 
dramatist whose plays were very popular in New Orleans and whose Le 
Comte de Carmagnola achieved a hundred-night run in Paris. 

In 1843, a group of free men of color published a magazine called 
L Album Litter air e containing poems, short stories, and editorials. Poems 
by this same group appeared in an anthology, Les Cenelles, edited by 
Arnold Lanusse, the first anthology by American Negroes. Three con 
tributors, P. Dalcour, Victor Sejour, and Camille Thierry, gained literary 
distinction in France. 

With the Civil War, the importance of French literature in Louisiana 
diminished rapidly. Alfred Mercier, one of its most brilliant representa 
tives, belongs, however, to the post-war period. Educated in France, he 
had begun his literary career there, but after the Civil War he returned to 
New Orleans, dividing his time between medicine and writing. A widely 
cultured and versatile writer, he produced noteworthy fiction, poetry, 
literary criticism, essays on scientific questions, and even a grammar of 
the Negro-French patois in Louisiana. His novel, ^Habitation Saint- 
YbarSj was praised by both Lafcadio Hearn and Edward Larocque 
Tinker as a permanent contribution to Louisiana literature. In 1876, 
Doctor Mercier founded in New Orleans the French literary society, 
L Athenee Louisianais, still existent, in whose official publication, 
Comptes rendus, practically all the French literature produced in 
Louisiana since 1876 has first appeared. 

There is no complete collection of the French literature of Louisiana, 
nor has any of it been translated; but two valuable bibliographies of the 
writings have recently appeared, Caulfield s The French Literature of 
Louisiana (1929), and Tinker s Les Merits de la Languefranqaise en Louisiane 
(1932). In recognition of his work, Tinker was awarded a doctorate in 

Literature 1 1 1 

literature by the University of Paris and made a member of the French 

There were only a few isolated writers in English connected with New 
Orleans before 1860. 

John J. Audubon resided in Louisiana from 1821 to 1830, making 
most of his drawings and accumulating voluminous notes for his Birds 
of America. Audubon s Journal, kept day by day during the winters of 
1821 and 1822, which he spent in New Orleans, is an intensely human 
and interesting document, valuable for its side-lights on the life of the 
time. Two houses in which he lived while in the city are still standing, 
at 706 Barracks Street and 505 Dauphine Street. Audubon Park was 
named after the great ornithologist, and a bronze statue of him has been 
erected there. 

Francois Xavier Martin published in 1827 his History of Louisiana, 
the basis for all future histories of the State. This book and Charles 
fitienne Gayarre s History of Louisiana, written both in French and 
English, furnished much material for later literary works. 

B. M. Merman s New Orleans and Environs (1845) is not only interest 
ing as the first local guide-book, but valuable for its historical back 

In 1848, the New Orleans Crescent gave young Walt Whitman a part- 
time job for a few months. While Whitman s newspaper work in New 
Orleans is comparatively unimportant, and the one bit of literature 
directly resulting was the poem I Saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Grow 
ing, the experience had much bearing on his psychological development. 
The cosmopolitan old city exerted a broadening influence; but of still 
greater significance was a passionate love for a New Orleans woman whose 
identity, however, was never revealed. 

Vincent Nolte, the international financier who lived intermittently in 
New Orleans from 1808 to 1838, related in his book of reminiscences, 
Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres (1854), many anecdotes and adventures 
connected with his life here. Nolte carried on his cotton commission 
business from 1819 to 1827 in the building known as The Court of the 
Two Lions, 641 Royal Street, and lived for a time in the house still 
standing at 621 Toulouse Street. Nolte s book also served as source 
material for the recent novel, Anthony Adverse, by Hervey Allen, of which 
several scenes are laid in New Orleans. 

The most unusual book to appear in this period was Bliss of Marriage, 
or How to Get a Rich Wife (1858), by S. S. Hall, a New Orleans attorney. 
The book contained interesting views on love, courtship, and marriage, 

112 Economic and Social Development 

and an appendix in which the author listed all wealthy marriageable pros 
pects in and around New Orleans, both men and women, with the amount 
of their fortunes explicitly stated. The book created a sensation in New 
Orleans, causing no less than six duels. Mr. Hall himself was forced to 
leave town. 

Between the years 1857 and 1861 Samuel Clemens, as a Mississippi 
River steamboat pilot, traveled regularly between St. Louis and New 
Orleans, but beyond a few broadly humorous articles contributed by him 
to the New Orleans newspapers, and the fact that he acquired his famous 
pen name here, there was little significance in the contact. In 1882, as 
Mark Twain the writer, he revisited the city, and in Life on the Missis 
sippi he devoted ten delightful chapters to the incidents of this visit and 
his impressions of New Orleans. 

During the dormant period immediately after the Civil War, De Bow s 
Review, published in New Orleans between 1847 an d 1870, was almost the 
sole representative of literary effort in New Orleans, sandwiching in be 
tween its statistics an occasional poem, essay, or well-written editorial, 
as well as interesting bits of information on contemporary life. Only a 
few books, of purely local significance, were published John Augustin s 
collection of war poems, War Flowers (1865), M. F. Bigney s Forest Pil 
grims and Other Poems (1867), and Charles Patton Dimitry s novel, 
House in Balfour Street (1868). 

But following came the most vigorous period of literary activity in the 
city s history. Edward King, a representative of Scribner s, made a 
lengthy visit to New Orleans in 1873 while collecting material for his 
1 Great South series. The Cotton Centennial Exposition in 1884 brought 
many more such visitors. Writers like Joaquin Miller, who for six months 
covered the Exposition for a New York daily, and Julia Ward Howe, in 
charge of the Woman s Department, became for a time part of the city s 
cultural life. Richard Watson Gilder, editor of Century, and Charles 
Dudley Warner, an editor of Harper s, were also in New Orleans during 
the Exposition, Warner subsequently returning for several winters. These 
publishers and writers, who were alert for literary material, entered into 
the life of the city and assisted obscure but promising young writers such 
as Lafcadio Hearn, George W. Cable, Grace King, and Ruth McEnery 
Stuart to secure recognition. 

Following publication of * Sieur George, in Scribner s Magazine (1873), 
George W. Cable found himself hailed as a genius; he had opened a rich 
and unexplored vein in his stories of New Orleans Creole life. So exclu 
sively did he use the New Orleans locale, and so factual were his charming 

Literature 113 

descriptions of the old homes, gardens, and streets of the city, that he has 
been accredited along with Bret Harte as being the cause of the local 
color episode in American fiction. His short stories, reprinted in the 
collection Old Creole Days (1879), and The Grandissimes (1879), a novel, 
are the most enduring of his works. Other important books dealing with 
New Orleans are the novel Dr. Sevier (1887), and the historical writings 
The Creoles of Louisiana (1884) and Kincaid s Battery (1908). Three of 
Cable s fictional houses remain today almost exactly as he described 
them: Sieur George s House, 640 Royal Street, Madame John s Legacy, 
632 Dumaine Street, and The Poulette s Dwelling, 710 Dumaine Street. 
His own home which he built in the Garden District, 1313 Eighth Street, 
is occupied today by the New Orleans writer, Flo Field. 

In 1877 there arrived in New Orleans Lafcadio Hearn, who was to 
bring Romanticism to a brilliant fruition. In the ten years he spent here, 
for one so little anchored, so eternally distracted by the pathos of dis 
tance, Hearn identified himself curiously with New Orleans, finding 
fulfillment for himself as artist, and making his own splendid contribution 
to the city s literature and cultural life. Perhaps his most notable work 
during these years were his translations and reconstructions from other 
literatures, but of more local interest are Chita, Gombo Zhebes, and his 
newspaper writings in the Item and Times-Democrat, later collected and 
published by Albert Mordell in An American Miscellany, and by Charles 
Woodward Hutson in Editorials and Fantastics and Other Fancies. Chita 
(1889), a story of the destructive tidal wave which swept over Last Island 
near New Orleans in 1856, contains some of Hearn s most brilliant word- 
painting; Gombo Zhebes (1885) is a little book of Creole proverbs which he 
collected with infinite pains; the newspaper writings constitute a day by 
day record of his moods, experiences, and reactions to New Orleans, his 
explorations into strange literatures, and gleanings from his wide reading 
of foreign newspapers. Hearn is also supposed to have written La 
Cuisine Creole (1885), and to have collaborated with Coleman in his His 
torical Sketchbook and Guide to New Orleans (1884) ; two articles previously 
published by Hearn appeared in the latter, The Scenes of Cable s Ro 
mances and Pere Antoine s Date-Palm. 

Among houses in which Hearn lived while in New Orleans are his 
first boarding-house, now a tire shop, at 813 Baronne Street, and Mrs. 
Courtney s boarding house at 1565 Cleveland Street, still standing. 

Grace King, who was drawn into writing by the challenge of Richard 
Watson Gilder, If Cable is so false to you, why do not some of you write 
better? and who won immediate recognition through her first short 

114 Economic and Social Development 

story Monsieur Motte (1886), remains one of the more important 
writers of New Orleans. Among her best-known works are New Orleans: 
the Place and the People (1907); The Pleasant Ways of St. Medard (1916), 
a novel based on her own girlhood; and the short stories contained in 
Balcony Stories (1892). The home in which Miss King lived for the last 
twenty-eight years of her life, at 1749 Coliseum Street, is still occupied by 
the King family. 

Cable, Hearn, and Grace King enriched their writing through the use 
of Louisiana folk literature, which, because of the wide variety of the 
sources from which it is drawn, has distinctive color and great literary 
value. There are animal tales, resembling those of Uncle Remus, al 
though showing a less marked interest in nature and a somewhat greater 
faculty for endowing the animal heroes with human characteristics, 
together with a keen sense of the laughable in human nature. Tales of 
witchcraft and conjuration were strongly influenced by the insidious 
power of Voodoo worship. Fairy tales adapted by the Louisiana Negroes 
from the French provincial tales, some of which show a marked Celtic 
flavor, and tales of the supernatural, contributed by the Acadians of the 
Bayou Country, as well as by their German neighbors, all help to make 
the wealth of background from which Louisiana writers have drawn 
from time to time. 

In addition, there are the legends, such as those surrounding Pere 
Antoine, the Lafitte brothers, and the royal runaway lovers, Princess 
Charlotte and Chevalier d Aubant. Indian legends have also occasion 
ally been used. 

Ruth McEnery Stuart, a native of the State, began her literary work 
in New Orleans and even after she moved to New York, in 1888, con 
tinued to draw on her early environment for her stories. She was one 
of the popular writers of her day, especially skillful in stories of the 
plantation Negro. Her books with a New Orleans locale are The Story 
of Babette (1902), a Creole story for children, and Solomon Crow s Christ 
mas Pockets (1896), a collection of quaint Negro tales. 

Cecilia Viets Jamison, who had married a New Orleans man, lived in 
the city from 1887 to 1902. She wrote charming children s stories of 
New Orleans Lady Jane (1891), Toinette s Philip (1894), and Thistle 
down (1903) which attracted a wide audience at the time and are still 
dear to the hearts of New Orleans children. Mrs. Jamison pictured the 
everyday, homely details of Creole life, and her books are important by 
reason of their fine local color and interesting character types. 

Mrs. M. E. M. Davis moved to New Orleans in 1879 when her hus- 

Literature 115 

band became editor of the Daily Picayune. She wrote novels, short stories, 
poems, and plays, being perhaps most successful in her delineation of 
Creole types. Her writings having a New Orleans setting are the novels 
The Queen s Garden (1900), The Little Chevalier (1904), The Price of 
Silence (1907), and the poems contained in Christmas Boxes (1896). 
She is best remembered today, however, as one of the famous hostesses 
of New Orleans who, in a historic old home on Royal Street, brought 
together in charming and informal fashion all local persons of any note 
as well as visiting celebrities. In a little book, Keren-Happuch and I 
(1907), Mrs. Davis has told of the famous people who were her guests. 

Mary Ashley Townsend ( XarifiV), the local poet laureate of her day, 
is represented in two volumes of poems, Xarijfa s Poems (1870) and 
Down the Bayou (1882). Mrs. Townsend achieved mention in Clarence 
Stedman s Poets of America, and her sonnet Down the Bayou has been 
included in a recent anthology, Alfred Kreymborg s Lyric America (1935). 

The newspapers of the city were also flourishing during this period, 
and attracted to their staff whatever was promising in the way of local 
literary talent. Noteworthy was a little group of women writers, pioneers 
in the newspaper field. Mrs. E. J. Holbrook, as owner and editor of the 
New Orleans Picayune, was the first woman publisher of a daily city 
newspaper in the United States. Mrs. Holbrook, who later became Mrs. 
Nicholson, was also a poet, and published a small volume of verses 
entitled Lyrics under the name of Pearl Rivers. Julia K. Wetheril (Mrs. 
Marion A. Baker) wrote verses and articles for the local papers, and con 
tributed literary criticism to Lippincott s Magazine and the New York 
Critic. Elizabeth Bisland, a native of Louisiana, was a friend of Lafcadio 
Hearn and his contemporary on the Times-Democrat, who, according to 
Hearn, occasionally contributed superb poetry to the paper. She later 
moved to New York, and as Elizabeth Bisland Wetmore became well 
known for her novels and her Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn. Mrs. 
Martha R. Field ( Catherine Cole ) did noteworthy work for the Times 
and Daily Picayune, attracting attention with her travel articles on 
European countries and her Outings in Louisiana series. In 1896, 
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Gilmer ( Dorothy Dix ) arrived in New Orleans to 
begin her brilliant career as a journalist. 

Henry C. Castellanos, a veteran journalist, published, in 1896, New 
Orleans As It Was. Described by him as the unwritten history of the city, 
it contained much interesting and valuable information on nineteenth- 
century New Orleans. 

In the summer of 1896, William Sidney Porter ( O. Henry ), charged 

Ii6 Economic and Social Development 

with embezzlement of bank funds in Texas, fled to New Orleans. Very 
little is known about his stay here, but in the brief time he remained he 
stored up enough fictional background for four stories of the city: * Blind 
Man s Holiday, Cherchez la Femme, Renaissance at Charleroi, and 
Whistling Dick s Christmas Stocking. It was in New Orleans, O. 
Henry always insisted, that his pen name was acquired. 

The literary activity of the seventies and eighties had died out almost 
completely by 1900. The first two decades of the century brought forth 
only a few books, with the city apparently unaware that important new 
movements and freedoms were being expressed abroad. In 1904, Helen 
Pitkin Schertz published An Angel by Brevet, a novel dealing with Voodoo 
in New Orleans. Eliza Ripley s Social Life in Old New Orleans, a delight 
ful book of reminiscences covering her girlhood here from 1835 to 1852, 
appeared in 1912. The Jack Lafaience Book, a collection of the news 
paper letters in Creole patois written by James J. McLoughlin under the 
pen name of Jack Lafaience during the preceding thirty years, was 
published in 1922. 

In January, 1921, a group of young intellectuals, deciding it was time 
that the city break with the old literary traditions and become acquainted 
with the new, established the Double Dealer, a cosmopolitan, anti-puri 
tanical, and liberal magazine with decided modern tendencies. The first 
issue declared: To myopics we desire to indicate the hills; to visionaries, 

the unwashed dishes We mean to deal double, to show the other 

side, to throw open the back windows stuck in their sills from misuse, 
smutted over long since against even a dim beam s penetration. These 
were strange words in New Orleans, whose literature was conceived in 
the Romantic tradition and had continued so through a hundred years. 
The publication held out for five years, becoming known nationally as an 
excellent literary journal. It was devoted almost exclusively to fiction, 
poetry, and literary criticism, radical and conservative literary move 
ments of the i92o s being represented. The importance of the magazine 
as a medium for the expression of all literary trends and the extent to 
which it discovered and encouraged notable talent may be seen in the 
number of contributors who have since attained literary recognition 
Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Jean 
Toomer, Thornton Wilder, and others. 

Sherwood Anderson, who had bought an old home at 715 Governor 
Nicholls Street, in the Vieux Carre, and who lived in the city from 1922 
to 1925, contributed various articles, among them a series of impression 
istic studies called variously New Testament and More Testament/ 

Literature 117 

Sherwood Anderson s Notebook (1926), written largely while he lived in 
New Orleans, contains articles first printed in the Double Dealer and 
his short story of the city, A Meeting South, published originally in the 

William Faulkner, who resided in New Orleans during 1924 and 1925, 
for a time sharing an apartment with Sherwood Anderson, published both 
poems and articles in the magazine, and during his stay here wrote most 
of his first novel, Soldier s Pay. 

Associated with the Double Dealer were the local writers John McClure, 
literary critic and poet; Flo Field, author of the play ^4 La Creole, pro 
duced in Philadelphia (1929) as Mardi Gras; Richard Kirk, author of 
several volumes of epigrammatic verse, A Tallow Dip, Penny Wise, etc. ; 
Louis Gilmore, Basil Thompson, Julius Friend, James Feibleman, Lillian 
Marcus, Paul Godchaux, Jr., Albert Goldstein, etc. 

Among writers living in New Orleans today are Lyle Saxon and Roark 

Lyle Saxon, a native of the State and a resident of the city for twenty 
years, is the author of Father Mississippi (1927), Fabulous New Orleans 
(1928), Old Louisiana (1929), Lafitte the Pirate (1930) and Children of 
Strangers (1937). He served an apprenticeship in newspaper work with 
the Times -Picayune. 

Roark Bradford, who has lived off and on in the city for the past four 
teen years, first came to New Orleans to do newspaper work, but aban 
doned it for fiction. An early short story, Child of God, won the O. 
Henry Memorial award for 1927. He soon became widely known, also, 
for OI J Man Adam an His Chillun, which furnished the material for 
Marc Connelly s play The Green Pastures. In his treatment of the old- 
time Southern Negro, Roark Bradford, who knows his blacks of the deep 
South better than perhaps anybody else writing today, continues to use 
the Louisiana and Mississippi plantation for his background. His novels 
John Henry (1931), and Kingdom Coming (1933), touch slightly on New 
Orleans; the latter contains a fine picture of the Voodoo organization in 
New Orleans during the Civil War. 

Leona Queyrouse Barel, a friend and contemporary of Lafcadio Hearn, 
whose early poems were written in French and printed in LAbeille and 
Com pies rendus, published in 1933 The Idyll, My Personal Reminiscences 
of Lafcadio Hearn, containing reproductions of letters written to her by 
Hearn during his stay in New Orleans. 

Hermann B. Deutsch, well-known New Orleans journalist, has written 
numerous articles and stories, the most recent of which have appeared in 

n8 Economic and Social Development 

Esquire and in the Saturday Evening Post. His first book, The Incredible 
Yanqui (1931), a biography of General Lee Christmas, is laid partly in 
New Orleans. His novel, The Wedge (1935), is a story of revolution in 

E. P. O DonnelPs first novel, Green Margins, published in 1936, is a 
story of the lower Mississippi delta; the novel won a Hough ton Mififlin 
scholarship prize and was also chosen by the Book of the Month Club. 

Elma Godchaux has recently published Stubborn Roots (1936), a story- 
of-the-soil novel with a Louisiana cane plantation setting, whose strongly 
drawn heroine invites comparison with Becky Sharp. 

Innis Patterson is the author of two detective novels, The Eppworth 
Case (1930) and The Standish Gaunt Case (1931). 

Gwen Bristow and her husband, Bruce Manning, have written a number 
of detective stories with scenes in New Orleans. One of these, The Ninth 
Guest, was produced on Broadway and later made into a movie. Mrs. 
Manning s first serious novel, Deep Summer, was published early in 1937. 

Mary Barrow Linfield s novel, Day of Victory (1936), depicts an event 
ful day in the life of a New Orleans business man. 

Sallie Lee Bell of Algiers is the author of Marcel Armand (1936). 

Non-resident writers who use New Orleans locale almost exclusively 
in their books include Edward Larocque Tinker, Robert Emmet Kennedy, 
and Hamilton Basso. 

Edward Larocque Tinker, a native of New York, has made New Orleans 
practically a second home. In 1916 he married Frances McKee Dodge of 
this city, and for years spent his winters here. He has delved extensively 
into the folklore and history of New Orleans, and has contributed vitally 
to the city s literature. Much of his writing has been in the form of 
magazine articles, but he has also published the following books: Laf- 
cadio Hearn s American Days (1924), concerned largely with Hearn s 
New Orleans life; Toucoutou (1928), the story of a New Orleans octo 
roon; Old New Orleans (1931), four novelettes written in collaboration 
with his wife and depicting life in New Orleans from 1860 to 1900; and 
Les Merits de la Langue franqaise en Louisiane (1932), a study of French 
literature in Louisiana. 

Robert Emmet Kennedy, a native of Gretna, Louisiana, immediately 
across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, in his short stories 
Black Cameos (1924) and Gritny People (1927) and his novel Red Bean 
Row (1929), has made himself known as one of the more gifted writers 
dealing with Negro life. Although he now lives in New York, all his 
stories are centered around East Green, a Negro settlement in Gretna, 

Literature 119 

and the True Vine Baptist Church, near the Carrollton Levee in New 

Hamilton Basso, born in the city but now residing in North Carolina, 
continues to write about his early environment. Relics and Angels (1929) 
is a novel depicting the reaction of a student recently returned from Europe 
to New Orleans toward the changing manners of the city. Beauregard 
the Great Creole (1933) is an interesting, authoritative biography of the 
New Orleans Civil War general. 

Another non-resident writer, claimed originally by New Orleans but 
of late years belonging almost exclusively to New York, is Fannie Heaslip 
Lea, whose Chloe M alone (1916) and Jaconetta Stories (1912) are based on 
her life in New Orleans. 

Interesting contributions to New Orleans literature have also been made 
by visiting writers and those who have remained only a short time in 
the city. Only a few of the better known of these writers are included 

Thomas Bailey Aldrich lived in New Orleans as a boy from 1849 to 
1852, as he recounts briefly but delightfully in his Story of a Bad Boy 
(1877). One of his most famous short stories, Pere Antoine s Date- 
Palm, in Marjorie Daw and OtJier People (1871), is about a legendary 
date-palm which stood, until recent years, at 837 Orleans St. 

Eugene Field, one of the most beloved of New Orleans visitors, spent 
three months here in the spring of 1894. He haunted the antique shops, 
particularly Waldhorn s, and the old Begue Restaurant, and was a 
frequent guest at the home of Mrs. M. E. M. Davis on Royal Street. 
Among his poems written about New Orleans are Good Children Street 
and Dr. Sam (a Voodoo doctor). 

John Galsworthy, who visited New Orleans toward the close of the 
past century, was so impressed with the melancholy grandeur of the St. 
Louis Hotel, then tottering on the brink of dissolution, that he wrote 
one of his haunting prose poems about it, That Old-Time Place, in 
The Inn of Tranquillity (1924). 

Frank Stockton, author of The Lady or the Tiger? was a friend and 
frequent guest of Mrs. M. E. M. Davis during his visits here. He has 
written a delightful love story of New Orleans, The Romance of a 
Mule-Car, in Afield or Afloat (1900). 

Winston Churchill s novel The Crossing, involving the acquisition 
from France of the Louisiana Territory, is laid partly in New Orleans. 
The Court of the Two Lions was the home of his heroine. 

Rex Beach, an enthusiastic sportsman who came often to New Orleans 

I2O Economic and Social Development 

in the early years of the century for duck hunting, used New Orleans 
locale in The Net (1912), a novel dealing with the Mafia, and The 
Crimson Gardenia, a short story in The Crimson Gardenia (1916). 

Charles Tenney Jackson married Carlotta Weir of New Orleans and 
spent a great deal of time in and around the city from 1911 to 1919. 
In Captain Sazerac (1922), a novel dealing with the Lafitte pirates, he 
has made skillful use of the historical background of New Orleans. 

William McFee, the English writer of sea stories, has been in the city 
at various times. A chapter in his Harbours of Memory (1921), entitled 
The City of Enchantment, is devoted to New Orleans, and he also 
makes use of New Orleans locale in Captain Macedoine s Daughter (1920). 

Two of Joseph Hergesheimer s stories, Quiet Cities (1928) and Swords 
and Roses (1929), are laid partly in New Orleans, the latter containing 
an interesting study of the Creole Civil War leader, General Beauregard. 

Oliver LaFarge, whose Laughing Boy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize 
for 1929, spent two years, from 1926 to 1928, in New Orleans as assistant 
in ethnology at Tulane University, where he was associated with Frans 
Blom in the Department of Middle American Research. He wrote Tribes 
and Temples (1927) in collaboration with Mr. Blom, author of Conquest 
of Yucatan (1936). 

Carl Carmer, best known for his novel Stars Fell on Alabama, lived 
for two years in the city, serving for a while as columnist on the New 
Orleans Morning Tribune. While here, he published French Town (1928), 
a collection of short poems about the French Quarter. 

Harris Dickson, the Mississippi author, who has written extensively 
of New Orleans in newspapers and magazines, has also published three 
historical novels with a New Orleans setting: She That Hesitates (1903), 
Gabrielle, Transgressor (1906), and Children of the River (1928). 


Public Libraries 
Howard Memorial Library, 60 1 Howard Ave. (See Tour 3.) 

Italian Library, Italian Hall, 1020 Esplanade Ave. (open Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Saturday, 5-7), is a very small reference library consist 
ing of Italian classics, fiction, and current periodicals. A comfortable 
reading-room is provided. 

Louisiana State Library, Room 415, New Orleans Court Bldg. (open 
weekdays 9-5; Sat., 9-12), possesses the most complete collection of 
reference law books in New Orleans, numbering approximately 60,000, 
available to the general public as well as to the law profession. The 
library and reading-room are in charge of Miss Alice M. Magee, Librarian. 

Literature 121 

Louisiana State Museum Library, 545 St. Ann St., lower Pontalba Bldg. 

(See Tour French Quarter.) 

New Orleans Public Library, 1031 St. Charles Ave. (See Tour 3.) 

A rchives 

City Hall Archives, City Hall (open Mon.-Fri., 9-1; Sat., 9-12), contain 
a complete file of New Orleans newspapers from 1804 to date (with the 
exception of the year 1868), which includes the first American news 
paper published in New Orleans, the Louisiana Gazette, and all news 
papers published in New Orleans during the Civil War, both Confederate 
and Federal. City Hall Archives are also the repository for the mayors 
messages, minutes of the City Council, and digests of city ordinances. 
St. Louis Cathedral Archives, St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley 
(open weekdays 2-5). The archives of the St. Louis Cathedral, for more 
than a century the only Catholic church in New Orleans, cover baptismal, 
marriage, and burial records from 1720 to date, contained in 123 registers. 
The first period covers the years from 1720 to 1777, written in French, 
with no division between white and colored. Baptismal records are 
available from 1731 to 1733 and from 1744 to 1777; marriage records 
from 1720 to 1733, 1759 to 1762, and 1764 to 1768; burial records from 
1731 to 1733. Loss of the missing records was due to conflagrations, or 
the use of inferior ink or paper, causing deterioration. 
The second period covers records from 1777 to date, written first in 
either French or Spanish, but by the beginning of the present century 
almost entirely in English. For whites, the baptismal and marriage 
records are complete; burial records are available from 1777 to 1843. 
For colored, baptismal records are available from 1777 to 1873; marriage 
records from 1777 to 1866; burial records from 1777 to 1843. 
These records are of much importance. Requests for genealogical re 
search in the Cathedral s archives are received constantly from every 
State of the Union and from almost every country of Europe. In addi 
tion, various marginal notes have been made by the priests, particularly 
in the early years, which form a running commentary on interesting and 
important historical events. The Battle of New Orleans is recorded thus: 
On the 8th of January 1815 great battle between Americans and 
British in which the latter lost four thousand men between killed, 
wounded and prisoners, and they were compelled to withdraw. 
Presbyter e Archives, Jackson Sq. (See French Quarter Tour.) 

University and College Libraries 

Baptist Bible Institute Library, 2828 Camp St. (See Tour 4.) 
Loyola University Library, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., 
opposite Audubon Park. (See Tour 3.) 

Newcomb College Library, Newcomb College, 1 229 Broadway. (See Tour 3.) 
Tulane University Library, Tulane University, in 6300 block of St. Charles 
Ave., opposite Audubon Park. (See Tour 3.) 

122 Economic and Social Development 

Private Libraries 

Walter S. Lewis Collection, 806 Carondelet Bldg. This collection includes 
the Robert Lawson Correspondence, consisting of military correspond 
ence to Lawson from such men as Lafayette, Jefferson, Von Steuben, 
Hardy, General Nelson, Muhlenberg, and Richard Henry Lee. One 
unsigned letter is thought to be from General Washington. 

Dr. Rudolph Matas Collection, 2251 St. Charles Ave. Dr. Matas Medical 
Library, one of the most complete in the country, covers every phase of 
medical history. Dr. Matas contributes internationally to medical and 
surgical journals and is now writing a history of medicine in Louisiana. 

E. A. Parsons Private Library, 5 Rosa Park, known as the Bibliotheca 
Parsoniana, was founded about 1900. It consists of a collection of his 
torical documents, autographs, manuscripts, incunabula, bindings, 
medals, and ancient and modern private presses. About 50,000 items 
have been collected, including what is probably the finest Louisiana 
Americana in the world, and 500 incunabula, among them one of the 
two Canon Missae. Mr. Parsons will permit qualified students to use 
the library, if appointment is made previously with him. 

T. P. Thompson Private Library, 1912 Calhoun St., is one of the most 
complete private collections to be found in New Orleans. The library 
comprises interesting historical documents, many connected with 
the early history of Louisiana, including the valuable B. F. French His 
torical Collection, the works of Lafcadio Hearn, Grace King, George W. 
Cable, Charles Etienne Gayarre, Alcee Fortier, and the unpublished let 
ters and correspondence of John James Audubon; many English and 
early American writers of note, as well as the older classics; and a com 
prehensive set of books on European art. There is also an admirable 
collection of oil paintings, many by early American artists. 

Other important private libraries in New Orleans are the Charles H. 
Behre Collection, 2800 Jefferson Ave.; Crawford Ellis Collection, 5411 
St. Charles Ave.; Hunt Henderson Collection, 1410 Second St.; Andre 
Laf argue Collection, 1116 Carondelet Bldg.; Walter Parker Collection, 
924 Moss St.; Robert Polack, Jr. Collection, 1424 Whitney Bldg.; Henry 
Soule Collection, 836 Pine St.; John Wisdom Collection, 1415 Cadiz St. 

Libraries for Negroes 

Dillard University Library, Dillard University, Gentilly Rd. (See Tour 1.) 
New Orleans Public Library, Dryades and Philip Sts. (open weekdays 9-9; 
Sun. 1-8; take Jackson car at Canal and Baronne Sts., or Freret car at 
Canal and St. Charles Sts., and walk one block), contains approximately 
14,500 volumes, including books on Negro history written by nationally 
famous Negro writers. 
Xavier University Library, 3912 Pine St. (See Tour 3.) 


FOR the half-century preceding the Civil War New Orleans was an im 
portant center in the theatrical world. The population of the city, made 
up in large part of pleasure-loving Latins, was quick to support the first 
efforts at establishing a theater. As a result several theaters sprang up 
during the early part of the nineteenth century, and the drama in New 
Orleans for a time achieved a standard of excellence rivaling, or perhaps 
surpassing, that of any city in the country. 

While New Orleans was yet under the rule of Spain, there arrived in 
1791 a homeless refugee band of actors and actresses who had fled the 
terrors of a murderous Negro uprising in the French West Indies. This 
troupe, which was headed by a Monsieur Louis Tabary, for a time gave 
performances in improvised quarters such as tents or vacant shops, and 
received such enthusiastic acclaim that before long it obtained a more 
permanent and commodious location. This first theater was known under 
various names through the years, but is best remembered as Le Spectacle 
de la Rue St. Pierre. The building was located at 732 St. Peter Street; it 
is not known whether any part of the original structure remains. 

A noisy and boisterous element, as well as the elite, must have fre 
quented the playhouse, because on November 28, 1804, the following 
police orders were published and posted in the theater: 

Article I 

No person shall present himself to the several entrances of the theater 
without having a ticket of admittance, and if any be proven to have 
gained admission by cunning or otherwise or by having used violence, 
he will be brought before a competent magistrate to be punished by im 
prisonment or fine in accordance with the varying degree of trouble he 
may have occasioned. 

124 Economic and Social Development 

Article II 

If good order is to be maintained, the orchestra of the hall cannot be 
subject to fanciful demands to play this or that tune; the management 
binds itself to satisfy the public s demand by the rendition of national 
airs; no person by bringing up any request in this regard shall disturb 
either the orchestra or the audience without running the risk of being 
brought before the magistrate as is provided in the first part of the 

Article III 

Neither shall anyone have the right of taking possession of a box or 
any place which shall have been rented to someone else. 

Article IV 

No one shall express his approval or his disapproval in such a way as 
to disturb the calm of the theater, either by noisy clapping if pleased or 
hissing if displeased. 

Article V 

No one will be allowed to throw or to pretend to throw oranges or 
anything else, be it in the theater or in any part of the hall, nor in a word, 
shall anyone be allowed to start quarrels with his neighbor or with any 
one; nor shall anyone insult anybody or come to blows or speak ill of 
anyone in order to stir up trouble under penalty of being punished with 
all the severity allowed by the present ordinance, as a disturber of public 

The department desires greatly that the order of the theater and the 
pieces played will contribute to the keeping of harmony, good-will and 
good manners, for alone on these rests the permanence and success of this 

The second theater to be founded in New Orleans was the St. Philip, 
erected in 1808 on St. Philip Street between Royal and Bourbon at a 
cost of approximately $100,000. It had a seating capacity of seven 
hundred and included a large parquet with two tiers of boxes. One of 
the early programs here included the first corps de ballet to be presented 
in New Orleans; for several years the best dramatic talent available was 
offered. The theater continued to be a successful enterprise until 1832. 

The Orleans Theater, the third to be established in the city, was lo 
cated at 721 Orleans Street, just off Royal. The first building, erected in 
1809, was destroyed four years later by fire, but rebuilt soon after in a 
more pretentious style, the exterior being adorned with Doric colonnades. 
Besides a spacious parquet, the building contained several galleries, two 

Theater 125 

tiers of boxes, and loge seats set off by lattice or iron grillwork. Per 
formances began at six in the evening and frequently lasted until two or 
three o clock the next morning. One night s program might include an 
opera or vaudeville, a comedy, and finally a heavy drama to complete 
the bill. It was here that Lafayette was entertained in 1825, a special 
performance having been arranged in his honor. In the building next 
door, and operated in connection with the theater, was the Orleans 
Ballroom, scene of many of the most noted entertainments of the period; 
for a time the famous quadroon balls were held here. 

These first theaters were given over to programs in the French lan 
guage. It was not until an American troupe known as the Common 
wealth Company, with Noah Ludlow as one of its members, came to 
New Orleans in 1817 and obtained temporary use of the St. Philip 
Theater that plays were produced in English. These first performances 
were so well received by the English-speaking element of the city that 
James Caldwell, an English actor who came to the city in 1820, was 
encouraged to build a theater in which only English plays would be 
produced. This was accomplished with the erection of the American 
Theater in 1822-23, the first building in New Orleans to be illuminated 
with gas. Located on the lake side of Camp Street, between Gravier and 
Poydras, and seating 1 100 people, the building was put up at a cost of 
$120,000. The theater, formally opened on January i, 1824, became 
noted throughout the country for its excellent entertainment. Almost 
every prominent actor or actress of the day appeared there. 

Caldwell erected another theater, the St. Charles, at 432 St. Charles 
Street, in 1835 an d in 1842 took over the New American, the second 
theater of that name erected on Poydras near Camp Street. The St. 
Charles, then perhaps the most magnificent in America, is said to have 
compared favorably with the opera houses of Naples, Milan, and Vienna. 
Construction of the building alone cost $350,000. The huge central dome 
and mammoth chandelier attracted hundreds of people from all over the 
country; the chandelier, weighing more than two tons, had 250 gas lights 
and 23,300 cut-glass drops. Playing to a full house containing four 
thousand seats and forty-seven boxes, the theater opened with the 
School for Scandal and the Spoiled Child. Seven years later it was 
destroyed by fire, and a second theater by the same name was built on 
the site by Noah Ludlow and Sol Smith, competitors of Caldwell. 

This theater was operated with success until it was destroyed by fire in 
1899. A new theater, built on the site in 1902, was used by the Orpheum 
Company before the present Orpheum Theater on University Place was 

126 Economic and Social Development 

constructed in the early 1920*5. After remaining closed for several years, 
the St. Charles was used from time to time for legitimate stage produc 
tions; at present it is a motion-picture house. 

Many famous players appeared at the three theaters, among them 
Edwin Booth, James Brutus Booth, Jenny Lind, and Fanny Ellsler. 
Joe Jefferson, who made his home at Jefferson Island, Louisiana, after 
1869, appeared often at the St. Charles. Returning from a tour of 
Texas during the Mexican War, he mentions seeing Mr. and Mrs. James 
W. Wallack, Jr., in Richard III, a play finely acted but indifferently 
mounted. What impressed him most, however, was the after-piece, 
A Kiss in the Dark, a farce featuring the rising young comedian, James 
E. Owens, whose effective style and great flow of animal spirits aroused 
the professional jealousy of Jefferson, who had hoped to see something 
not quite so good. 

Another popular theater of the nineteenth century was Placide s 
Varieties, opened in 1849, on Gravier Street between Baronne and Caron- 
delet. The establishment was under the management of Tom Placide, 
the actor. After five successful seasons the theater was partially de 
stroyed by fire, but reopened the next year under a new name, the 
Gaiety. In 1870 the building burned down completely, and the owners 
built a new theater, afterwards called the Grand Opera House, on the 
present site of the Maison Blanche, a Canal Street department store. 

The old Varieties experienced its greatest period of prosperity during 
the three-month stay in 1853 of Lola Montez, the famous dancer who 
was created Countess of Lansfield by the King of Bavaria. Upon arrival 
in New Orleans she was met by two large groups one representing the 
more puritanical element in the city, which bitterly opposed her appear 
ance; the other hailed her coming with glee and boisterous celebration. 
A near-riot occurred at the St. Charles Hotel a few hours later, when the 
music of a band employed by the welcoming young blades was drowned 
out by boos and catcalls of the opposing faction. 

Perhaps the most amusing series of many hilarious incidents surround 
ing Lola s stay in New Orleans ensued when she, replying with a kick to 
amorous advances made by the theater prompter, was very much 
astonished to be soundly kicked in return; the stage manager and others 
intervened, and the luckless Lothario suffered a severe beating. He then 
very ungallantly proceeded to file charges of assault and battery against 
the dancer. A great crowd scrambled madly to her trial, cheering when 
Lola exhibited as evidence a swollen, angry bruise high upon her thigh. 
Thereafter the prompter cherished his one rather dubious bid to fame 
as the Man who kicked the Countess. 

Theater 127 

On December i, 1859, the initial performance was given at the French 
Opera, which housed plays as well as operas until it was destroyed by 
fire in 1919. 

The National Theater, established about the middle of the nineteenth 
century, was located on Baronne Street, at the present site of the De 
Soto Hotel. The theater was founded for the production of German 
plays, and for a time was known as the German National. The playhouse 
had a varied but successful existence until it burned in 1885. 

Other places of amusement in existence before 1880, but which played 
comparatively minor roles in the development of dramatic art in the 
city, include the Club Theater, the Bijou, Atlantic Gardens, and Wenger s 

The showboats were in their heyday from 1870 to 1890. These floating 
palaces bore such picturesque names as * Cotton Blossom, * Daisy Belle/ 
and River Maid. Up and down the Mississippi and its tributaries they 
plied, playing the old favorite melodramas over and over, to a thousand 
miles of audience. East Lynne and Tempest and Sunshine were 
enjoyed time and again by young and old, white and Negro, often so 
many times that the audiences knew the lines as well as the actors did; 
but when the showboat came round the bend, calliope screaming, band 
blaring, and flags flying, excitement spread along the levee and back into 
the fields like wildfire, as if an entirely new and wonderful thing were 
about to happen. 

The Greenwald Theater, 201 Dauphine Street, opened in 1904 with a 
stage presentation of The Wife. But the following season it opened 
with a burlesque show, which type of entertainment continued for some 
years. Then, for a time, the building was used by a stock company, the 
Emma Bunting Players, and the name was changed to the Emma 
Bunting Theater. From 1915 to 1930 the building was operated 
when it was operated at all as a motion-picture and vaudeville house, 
under the name of the Palace. In 1935 it was made a Negro theater, 
offering motion pictures and vaudeville. 

The Tulane Theater, Baronne between Canal and Common, built in 
1898, and demolished in 1937, had a seating capacity of 15(50, with a 
parquet, balcony, and gallery including four boxes on each floor. Special 
attention was given to the acoustics, the design imitating the drumlike 
formation of the old French Opera. A great number of famous actors and 
actresses appeared at the Tulane, including Julia Marlowe, George 
Arliss, Richard Mansfield, Maude Adams, De Wolf Hopper, Robert 
Mantell, Katharine Cornell, and Anna Held. For the last five years New 

128 Economic and Social Development 

Orleans has had no regular theatrical season, only occasional plays having 
been presented at the Tulane before it was razed. The Municipal Audi 
torium, in which concerts, operas, and dance programs have been given 
since its dedication in May, 1930, has recently housed its first dramatic 

New Orleans has produced a host of lesser theatrical lights and about a 
half-dozen who attained world-wide recognition and fame. At the head 
of the list is Adah Isaacs Menken, born in Milneburg, a suburb of New 
Orleans, about 1835. Her parentage and early life are shrouded in mys 
tery; her own accounts, conflicting statements apparently given out for 
publicity purposes, add to the confusion. She began her career as a 
dancer, graduated to drama in her early twenties, and in the short space 
of her life thirty odd years became remarkably versatile, adding 
poetry, painting, sculpturing, singing, and a knowledge of French, He 
brew, German, and Spanish to her accomplishments. In 1856, at Living 
ston, Texas, she married Alexander Isaacs Menken, the first of a series 
of four or more husbands, and the following year made her stage debut 
at Shreveport, Louisiana, as Pauline in The Lady of Lyons. A few 
months later she appeared in New Orleans as Bianca in Fazio/ and there 
after, using her first husband s name, began a theatrical career that made 
her the toast of Europe and America. 

Her remarkable beauty, her extravagant and uninhibited manner of 
acting, and the aura of rumored immorality attached to her name caused 
her every performance to be a sell-out. Adept in the modern Hollywood 
technique of acquiring box-office value through publicity stunts, she 
committed one sensational act after another. She was involved in bigamy 
with her second husband, John Heenan, famous prize-fighter of the day, 
was arrested as a Secessionist, and at Astley s Theater in London in 1864 
created a sensation as a scantily clad Mazeppa, the first woman to essay 
the role and the first performer to ride a horse in the scene in which a 
dummy had always been strapped to a horse. 

Celebrities of two continents Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Artemus 
Ward, Walt Whitman, Georges Sand, Alexandre Dumas, Theophile 
Gautier, Charles Dickens, Algernon Swinburne paid homage to her, 
and she went from triumph to triumph, amusing herself and the world. 
She died in Paris in 1868 while rehearsing for a new version of Les 
Pirates, and was buried in Montparnasse. The simple inscription on her 
tomb, Thou Knowest, epitomizes her brilliant career, as does Swin 
burne s remark written on a copy of her volume of poems, Infelicia\ Lo, 
this is she that was the world s delight. 

Theater 129 

Cora Urquhart Potter, another native star, made her first professional 
appearance in London, in a play called Man and Wife, produced in 
1877. She later played at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York and 
toured the United States in Shakespearian and other roles. 

Minnie Maddern Fiske was born in New Orleans in 1865. She made 
her first appearance at the age of five as the little Duke of York in 
Richard the Third. In 1897 she attained her greatest success in Tess 
of the D Urbervilles, one of the greatest pieces of emotional work done 
by any actress of her time. 

Edward Hugh Sothern was born in a boarding-house on Bienville 
Street, New Orleans, in 1859, while his parents were on tour. During the 
first years of his career he was known as a comedian, later as a romantic 
and Shakespearian actor. Between 1904 and 1914 he and Julia Marlowe 
were considered the leading Shakespearian exponents in the United 

In Sothern s entertaining reminiscences, Melancholy Tale of Me, he 
tells of how, on a visit to New Orleans, an old lady gave him a small 
fawn-colored coat, very old-fashioned, with high collar, bell-shaped cuffs, 
pearl buttons as large as a half dollar, much moth-eaten, which Dion 
Boucicault had lent to Sothern s father to wear on the stage. In a pocket 
of the coat he was pleasantly surprised to find some memoranda written 
in his father s hand. 

Sidney Shields, who for many years was Walker Whiteside s leading 
lady, was born and reared in New Orleans. She came of a family long 
active in theatrical circles of this city. 

Robert Edeson, born in New Orleans in i868 t spent his childhood in 
Brooklyn, and began his successful stage career in New York. He was 
one of the first actors of the legitimate stage to enter motion pictures. 

Marguerite Clark (Mrs. Harry P. Williams), famous star of the silent 
films, has lived in New Orleans many years. 

Many plays have been written in, about, and for New Orleans, ranging 
from French printings on the intrigues of the nineteenth century to a very 
modern play, Stevedore, based on Negro life of the city s wharves. 

One of the earlier plays, titled Mis Nelly of N Orleans, was written 
by Lawrence Eyre; Minnie Maddern Fiske toured in it for several years. 
Danse Calinda, by Ridgely Torrence, is a pantomime of nineteenth- 
century Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A La Creole, a three-act play by 
Flo Field produced in 1927, is of authentic New Orleans atmosphere, and 
has genuine Creole and Cajun characters; as presented in New Orleans, 
the play was considered one of the best ever written about the city. 

130 Economic and Social Development 

Stevedore, by George Sklar and Paul Peters, is the latest play with a 
New Orleans setting. This three-act race tragedy, performed by a cast 
of Negroes and whites, is a dynamic portrayal of a wharf strike. The 
play has been highly successful in the East. 

A history of the amateur theatrical groups about which theatrical 
activity in the city now centers would begin with what is believed to 
have been one of the earliest little theaters in the country. On the spa 
cious grounds of her mansion Roselawn (now 3512 St. Charles Avenue) 
Madame Rosa Salomon da Ponte, a noted beauty, built and equipped 
a miniature theater. She engaged a director in 1891, and presented the 
first play, Called Back, a Romance Drama, a thriller with subtitles 
such as The Blind Witness, Recognition/ The Vanished Past, A 
Black Lie, and Tracked to Siberia. 

Madame da Ponte carried stage illusion into her drawing-room; her 
friends remember teas in caverns of ice, and balls in Egyptian marble 
palaces. After a few years the Roselawn s patroness left for Europe in 
search of new triumphs; she succeeded in her quest, gaining international 
fame as a beauty and belle. But the hitherto promising little theater, no 
longer blessed with Madame da Ponte s extraordinary personality and 
generous purse, went into a decline and died an almost unnoticed death. 

Today Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, 616 St. Peter Street, the out 
growth of The Drawing Room Players, headed by Mrs. Oscar J. Nixon 
and organized in 1916, has become one of the best-known little theaters in 
the country. The Group Theater, 2211 Magazine Street, organized in 
1934, has given a number of noteworthy modern productions. Le Petit 
Theatre du Reveil Francais, 939 North Rampart Street, was started in 
1930 with the purpose of preserving the French language in New Orleans. 
The Civic Theater, the Algiers Little Theater, and the dramatic clubs 
of the schools and colleges throughout the city are also active. A limited 
number of tickets for non-members are usually on sale for the various 


THE music of New Orleans has been as varied and colorful as the 
nationalities which have made up its population. From the operas of 
Paris, Milan, and Vienna came the classics which gained such popularity 
in the city during the middle of the nineteenth century; from the West 
Indies came barbaric, rhythmic chants that evolved through a period 
of years into work songs, dance melodies, blues, and jazz; from Canada 
and the outlying French settlements came the Cajun songs. The Creoles, 
descendants of pioneer French and Spanish families, absorbed it all, 
and contributed, in their turn, light airs and whimsical melodies. 

New Orleans was the first Southern city to establish an opera com 
pany, and for more than half a century the city was recognized as one 
of the leading music centers of the country. As early as 1810 light 
operas, romances, musical comedy, and drama were presented at the 
Spectacle, St. Philip, and Orleans Theaters, all of which were located in 
the French Quarter. It was not until 1837, however, that serious atten 
tion was given to opera. In that year Mile. Julia Calve made her debut 
at the Orleans Theater, scoring a great success. Three years later Charles 
Boudousquie, who afterwards became the husband of Mile. Calve, brought 
from France the first important company of singers to visit New Orleans. 
Their first appearance in the city was made at the Orleans Theater, in 
<Le Chalet. 

Ole Bull, famous violinist of his day, gave many concerts in New 
Orleans over a ten-year period, 1844-54. On his first visit the old rivalry 
between Creoles and Americans was reawakened; the Frenchman Vieux- 
temps, an arch-rival of Bull s, being in the city at the same time, compe 
tition between the two performers evoked warm discussion as to their 
comparative artistry. In 1845, at the conclusion of his concert series, 
a practical joke was played upon Bull at a banquet held at the St. 
Charles Hotel. The violinist, upon being asked to show his silver medal 

132 Economic and Social Development 

and famous Cremona violin, was horrified to find that the medal had 
turned to lead and the violin had been crushed and broken. Tension was 
relieved when a magician, the perpetrator of the trick, produced the 
real articles. In the concert series of 1853, Maurice Strakosch, appearing 
with Bull, introduced his protegee, little Adelina Patti. It is interesting 
to note with what perspicacity the Picayune, on February 27, 1853, 
predicted that if proper attention were paid the prodigy she might cer 
tainly become a vocalist of remarkable power. Seven years later at 
the French Opera House Orleanians thunderously applauded a mature 
Patti, who soon after won international fame in London. 

Jenny Lind, while under the management of P. T. Barnum, created a 
furore among opera-loving Orleanians during her month s stay in the 
city in 185 1 . Crowds lined the levee at her arrival, and it was only through 
a ruse employed by Barnum, who, with an associate, escorted two veiled 
ladies down the gangplank, that the famous singer was able to reach her 
quarters in the lower Pontalba Building without discomfort. Seats 
for her first concert, held on February 10 at the St. Charles Theater, 
were sold at auction, the first being purchased for $240. The theater 
was sold out for each performance, and so great was public acclaim that 
Barnum was induced to extend the * Nightingale s engagement. 

Eliza Ripley s Social Life in Old New Orleans contains an interesting 
account of the opera of the forties: 

It was on Orleans Street, near Royal I don t have to shut my eyes 
and think very hard, as the Marchioness said to Dick Swiveller, to see 
the old Opera House and all the dear people in it, and hear its entrancing 
music. We had Norma and Lucia di Lammermoor and Robert le 
Diable and La Dame Blanche, Huguenots, and Le Prophete, just 
those dear old melodious operas, the music so thrillingly catchy that 
half the young men hummed or whistled snatches of it on their way home. 

There were no single seats for ladies, only four-seated boxes. The pit, 
to all appearances, was for elderly, bald gentlemen only, for the beaux, 
the fashionable eligibles, wandered around in the intermissions or stood 
at attention in the narrow lobbies behind the boxes during the perform 
ances. Except the two stage boxes, which were more ample, and also 
afforded sly glimpses towards the wings and flies, all were planned for four 
occupants. Also, all were subscribed for by the season. There was also a 
row of latticed boxes in the rear of the dress circle, usually occupied by 
persons in mourning, or the dear old messieurs et mesdames, who were not 
chaperoning a mademoiselle. One stage box belonged, by right of long- 
continued possession, to Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert Buiiitt. The opposite box 
was la loge des lions, and no less than a dozen lions wandered in and out of 

Music 133 

it during an evening. Some were blase and looked dreadfully bored, a 
few were young and frisky, but every mortal one of them possessed a 
pompous and self-important mien. 

If weather permitted (we had to consider the weather, as everybody 
walked) and the opera a favorite, every seat would be occupied at 8 o clock, 
and everybody quiet to enjoy the very first notes of the overture. All the 
fashionable young folks, even if they could not play or whistle Yankee 
Doodle/ felt the opera was absolutely necessary to their social success 
and happiness. The box was only five dollars a night, and pater-familias 
certainly could afford that. 

Think of five dollars for four seats at the most fashionable Opera House 
in the land then, and compare it with five dollars for one seat in the top 
most gallery of the most fashionable house in the land today. Can one 
wonder we old people who sit by our fire and pay the bills wag our heads 
and talk of the degenerate times? 

Toilets in our day were simple, too. French muslins trimmed with real 
lace, pink and blue bareges with ribbons. Who sees a barege now? No 
need of jeweled stomachers, ropes of priceless pearls or diamond tiaras 
to embellish those Creole ladies, many of whom were direct descendants 
of French nobles; not a few could claim a drop of even royal blood. 

Who were the beaux? And where are they now? If any are living they 
are too old to hobble into the pit and sit beside the old, bald men. 

It was quite the vogue to saunter into Vincent s, at the corner on the 
way home. Vincent s was a great place, and he treated his customers with 
so much confidence. One could browse about the glass cases of pates, 
brioches, eclairs, meringues, and all such toothsome delicacies, peck at 
this and peck at that, lay a dime on the counter and walk out. A large 
Broadway firm in New York attempted that way of conducting a lunch 
counter and had such a tremendous patronage that it promptly failed. 
Men went for breakfast and shopping parties for lunch, instead of dropping 
in en passant for an eclair. 

As I said, we walked. There were no street cars, no buses, and precious 
few people had carriages to ride in. So we gaily walked from Vincent s 
to our respective homes, where a cup of hot coffee put us in condition for 
bed and slumber. 

Monday morning, Mme. Casimir or Mam selle Victorine comes to 
sew all day like wild for seventy-five cents, and tells us how splendidly 
Rosa de Vries (the prima donna) sang Robert, toi que j aitne last night. 
She always goes, Oui, madame, toujours, to the opera Sunday. Later, 
dusky Henriette Blondeau comes, with her tignon stuck full of pins and 
the deep pockets of her apron bulging with sticks of bandoline, pots of 
pomade, hairpins and a bandeau comb, to dress the hair of mademoiselle. 
She also had to tell how fine was Robert, but she prefers De Vries in 
Norma, moi. The Casimirs lived in a kind of cubby-hole way down Ste. 

134 Economic and Social Development 

Anne Street. M. Casimir was assistant in a barber shop near the French 
Market, but such were the gallery gods Sunday nights, and no mean critics 
were they. Our nights were Tuesday and Saturday. 

Society loves a bit of gossip, and we had a delightful dish of it about 
this time, furnished us by a denizen of Canal Street. He was horribly 
English, you know. As French was the fashion then, it was an imperti 
nence to swagger with English airs. The John Bull in question, with his 
wife all decked out in her Sunday war paint and feathers, found a woman 
calmly seated in his pew at Christ Church, a plainly dressed, common- 
appearing woman, who didn t even have a flower in her bonnet. The pew 
door was opened wide and a gesture accompanied it, which the common- 
looking somebody did not fail to comprehend. She promptly rose and retired 
into the aisle; a seat was offered her nearer the door of the church, which 
she graciously accepted. Lady Mary Wortley Montague had asked for 
a seat in that pew, as she bore a letter of introduction to its occupant. 
This incident gave us great merriment, for the inhospitable Englishman 
had been boasting of the coming of Lady Mary. I introduce it here, for it 
has a moral which gives a Sunday school flavor to my opera reminiscences. 
Now they have all gone where they are happily singing, I hope, even 
better than Rosa de Vries, and where there are no doors to the pews. 

The French Opera Company, which came into existence near the mid 
dle of the nineteenth century, had a long and successful career, during 
which many of the old classics were presented. The French Opera was 
one of the South s greatest contributions to music. The building was 
erected in 1859 in the Vieux Carre, five blocks from Canal Street, on the 
uptown lake corner of Bourbon and Toulouse Streets. The house was 
opened in December with the presentation of Guillaume Tell, conducted 
by Professor Eugene Prevost, a New Orleans musician. 

The opera became the focus of social life in New Orleans a scene of 
costly jewels, elaborate costumes, lovely women, gallant gentlemen, and 
magnificent music. European artists coming to New Orleans for engage 
ments lived in the city throughout the opera season. People of all walks 
in life attended the opera, even those who wished solitude. For these 
persons the loges grilles, or boxes enclosed with lattice work, were intended, 
being occupied chiefly by those in mourning and femmes enceintes. A 
favorite New Orleans anecdote is that of the Creole belle who was almost 
born in the opera house. For it was not until the middle of Faust 
that her mother, Mme. Blanque, turned to M. Blanque and said, Pierre, 
I do not think I can wait for the ballet! 

Among the outstanding stars who appeared at the French Opera were 
Adelina Patti, Mme. Urban, Mile. Hitchcock, and Julia Calve. Among 

Music 135 

works given here for the first time in America were Gounod s La Reine 
de Saba and Le Tribut de Zamora, Bizet s L Arlesienne, Massenet s 
Herodiade, Werther, and Don Quichotte, Saint-Saen s Samson and 
Delilah, and Lalo s Le Roi d Ys. The opera house was destroyed by 
fire in November 1919 and has not been rebuilt. 

Since the early period of its history New Orleans has developed a 
definite type of music in its Creole and Negro songs. The former origi 
nated among the slaves of French and Spanish refugees who came from 
the West Indies to New Orleans during the first decade of the nineteenth 
century. The Negro songs are heard in a patois with local variations 
wherever the French language and Negro dialects are found along the 
Gulf Coast and throughout the West Indies. A mixture of humor and 
pathos runs through the apparently nonsensical lyrics, and with their 
original theme based on some French or Spanish melody, well disguised 
by a novel interpretation, the songs express the passions of the Louisiana 
Negro. Po Pitie Mamze ZiZi, one of the best of their love songs, was 
used by Gottschalk in a piano composition; his La Bamboula was 
based upon what he heard and saw in Congo Square as a boy. A favorite 
of the more modern songs is Mary Blane, composed almost entirely 
of eighth and sixteenth notes. 

The plantation songs of the Southern Negro have constituted one 
of the most interesting developments in American folk music the 
quaint melodies and fascinating rhythms of the befo -de-war Negro 
offering, in addition to their own beauty, a rich field for future com 
posers. Both Chadwick and Dvorak made use of these melodies in 
their symphonies. 

The following (taken from Emmet Kennedy s Mellows) is an excellent 
example of the Negro song: 

Tell yuh bout a man wot live be-fo Chris 

His name was Adam, Eve was his wife. 

Tell yuh how dat man he lead a rugged life, 

All be-cause he tak-en de ooman s ad-vice. 

She made his trou-ble so hard She made his trou-ble so hard 

Lawd, Lawd, she made his trou-ble so hard. 

Yas, indeed his trou-ble was hard. 

In the Creole songs ran a lighter, more whimsical vein. Death is 
treated in a matter-of-fact fashion, as in the song Grenadie, ca-ca-yie, 
the words of which give a feeling of fatalism: What matter, the death 
of one soldier, simply one ration less, so much the worse for him, indeed. 
Love in these songs was treated lightly, and gossip ran from an account 

136 Economic and Social Development 

of some minor incident to the hushed whisper of scandal. The gay life 
of old Creole days, when casket girls were wooed by soldiers, is musically 
related in Victor Herbert s Naughty Marietta. 

Street cries among vendors have always been a characteristic of New 
Orleans. Crude rhymes are composed by peddlers who saunter along the 
streets crying their wares to housewives, servant girls, or any who will 

The blackberry woman, having walked miles from the woods and 
bayou banks, with skirts tucked gypsy-fashion around her waist and 
bare legs showing traces of dusty travel, calls in a melancholy tone: 

Black-ber-ries fresh and fine, I got black-berries, lady, 
Fresh from de vine, I got black-berries, lady, three glass fo a dime, 
I got black-berries, I got black-berries, black-berries. 

New Orleans has often been said to be the birthplace of jazz (originally 
called jass ), the outgrowth of cacophony turned out by spasm bands, 
which made their appearance in the last decade of the nineteenth cen 
tury. Playing in front of the theaters, saloons, and brothels of the 
city, these bands regaled the public with their informal ear music. 
One of the earliest of these organizations, the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band/ 
was composed of such colorful individuals as Stalebread Charley, Family 
Haircut, Warm Gravy, Cajun, Whisky, Monk, and Seven Colors. 
Instruments consisted of a cigar-box fiddle, old kettle, cowbell, pebble- 
filled gourd, bull fiddle constructed of half a barrel, harmonica, and numer 
ous whistles and horns. However abhorrent the clamor produced by 
this assortment of instruments might have seemed to music-loving 
Orleanians, the band attained sufficient popularity by 1911 to warrant 
an engagement in New York, where its name was changed to Jazz Band. 

Other early bands New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Crescent City 
Jazzers, Creole Jazz Band, Original Dixie Land Jass Band popular 
ized the new type of hot music and introduced it to the North, where 
its acceptance in the form of a national craze was instantaneous. The 
famous Dixie Land Jass Band, composed of five players, none of whom 
could read or write music, reached the height of its popularity in 1915, 
when it is said to have serenaded Sarah Bernhardt. In the same year 
the band started on a tour of the country, aiding in glorifying jazz as 
the national dance music. 

A diversity of influences white and Negro folk music, brass band 
and military numbers, and French tunes are reflected in jazz. Tiger 
Rag, for example, is said to be based upon a French quadrille; musicians 

Music 137 

of the old school can still break it down into the tempi and movements 
of the original dance form. The clarinet chorus of High Society Blues, 
practically a definitive form for * swing players, derives, supposedly, 
from the flute passage of a march by John Philip Sousa. The influence 
of Negro folk music is apparent in the numerous blues that have ap 
peared. Canal Street Blues, Basin Street Blues, Milneburg Joys/ 
and other songs celebrate the city and show its influence. 

The originality and creativeness of New Orleans composers contributed 
much to the development of jazz. In its formative stage ; bucking and 
cutting contests, friendly and informal competitions in improvisation 
constantly vitalized the new music form, adding originality and variety 
to a field already rich in unconventionalities. In these contests, which 
usually were held on the streets of the city or at Milneburg resorts, 
cornetists of rival bands would cut choruses of tunes until one or the 
other would throw away his instrument in a gesture of defeat. 

Negro jazz, made popular by Louis Armstrong, a New Orleans Negro 
now credited with being one of the world s greatest trumpeters, deserves 
mention. Armstrong s success in this field was probably due to his 
practice of leading or crying up to a note instead of striking it immedi 
ately and decisively. His long-drawn-out high notes on the trumpet 
also added to the weird, bizarre appeal of his music. Armstrong, one of 
the first exponents of the scat style of singing the substitution of 
such syllables as da-de-da-da for words is noted principally for his 
individual technique with the trumpet, one of his most popular record 
ings being Basin Street Blues. Clarence Williams, remembered for his 
swing technique on the piano, and now a music publisher in New York, 
published I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate, composed by 
A. J. Piron, who conducts an orchestra aboard the steamer Capitol, a 
pleasure craft and one of the few remaining Mississippi paddle- wheelers. 

Other New Orleans Negro composers and exponents of jazz are Henry 
Allen, Jr., Buster Bailey, Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds, 
Jelly-Roll Morton, Joe Oliver, Kid Ory, and Spencer Williams. 

Among the prominent white jazz artists are George Brunies, Eddie 
Edwards, Nick LaRocca, Wingy Mannone, Henry Rogas, Leon Rappolo, 
Larry Shields, and Tony Sparbaro. Louis Prima, another native son, has 
won wide acclaim on Broadway, over the radio, and in moving pictures. 

A peculiar form of jazz, which has been called the polyphonic, a type 
concentrating on rhythm and time, also developed in New Orleans. 
Although never popular, and now almost extinct, it portrays an interest 
ing style of harmony. Very little orchestration is used; three or four 

138 Economic and Social Development 

melody instruments improvise at once, each playing a solo, and con 
tributing to the whole with an almost perfect sense of balance in relation 
to the other instruments. The success in such a presentation lies in 
the strict adherence to rhythm and time on the part of each player. 
This school of jazz is not basically different from original jazz music, 
the chief difference lying in the method in which the melody is handled. 

A novel attraction of New Orleans today is the soap-box orchestras 
frequently stationed on street corners of the French Quarter. The instru 
ments, which include perforated tin cups, pie pans, bucket lids, and 
bottles, are attached to a wooden box and played by a Negro boy, usu 
ally between the ages of ten and fifteen. With him are other Negro chil 
dren, who, in ragged, unkempt garments, dance to the music. New 
Orleans visitors are attracted by the surprising amount of rhythm and 
harmony pounded from these crude one-man orchestras. 

During the nineteenth century New Orleans produced a number of 
recognized musicians. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the State s most emi 
nent pianist and composer, was born in New Orleans May 1 8, 1829. At 
the height of his career he was well known both in America and abroad 
for his compositions, among which were The Last Hope and Tarantelle. 
It is said that his own interpretations of his compositions held an undeni 
able sensual charm that few, if any, pianists could approach. Gottschalk, 
who gave his first European concert at the age of sixteen, gained wide 
acclaim in Paris, both for his virtuosity and his compositions. * Bamboula, 
built around a dance of the Louisiana Negro, written while Gottschalk 
was convalescing from a severe attack of typhoid fever, took the French 
capital by storm. La France Musicale, a Parisian paper, bestowed 
great praise upon the young American pianist. 

An amusing incident connected with one of Gottschalk s tours occurred 
in San Francisco, where he had arranged Wagner s march from Tann- 
hauser for fourteen pianos. On the eve of the concert one of his pianists 
fell sick and Gottschalk was at a loss to find a capable substitute. He 
searched in vain for an accomplished musician, but in all San Francisco he 
could find none. The proprietor of the hall finally offered to speak to his 
son, an amateur pianist, whom he claimed could easily perform the part. 
Gottschalk was skeptical, but decided to test the son s ability. The ama 
teur derided the suggestion of a rehearsal, but Gottschalk insisted. After 
the young man had played two bars the great musician realized the 
impossibility of accepting his services, but he could not easily refuse the 
enthusiastic son nor the beaming father. Gottschalk s tuner suggested 
that the hammers of the piano be removed so that the instrument would 

Music 139 

produce no sound. Gottschalk acceded to this plan and arrangements 
were completed for the performance. The auditorium was filled to capac 
ity, and the young amateur, in full evening clothes, paraded back and 
forth before his friends. He had even succeeded in having his piano placed 
in the center of the stage. 

The concert began with a flourish, and continued to an almost flawless 
finish. The young man had behaved superbly, employing all the elaborate 
gestures at his command, and perspiring freely. An encore was demanded. 
The youth, greatly pleased with himself, could not resist playing a short 
prelude before the others began, so he ran a chromatic scale, but the piano 
was mute. Gottschalk, seeing the danger, ignored the youth s frantic 
gestures and gave the signal for the others to begin. To save appearances 
the young man pantomimed the passages, striking the instrument furi 
ously. Gottschalk said later, God protect you, O artists, from the fathers 
of amateurs, from the sons themselves, and the fathers of female singers. 

Gottschalk died in Rio de Janeiro when, tired of his wanderings, he was 
planning a quiet retreat in Paris. For some time he had been weakened 
by fever and fatigue. During one of his concerts he seems to have been 
seized by a presentiment of death, and was unable to finish his last compo 
sition, La Morte. 

Ernest Guiraud, also a native of New Orleans, another of the city s 
prominent nineteenth-century composers, is best known for Sylvia/ the 
Kobold, and Piccolino. His first opera was produced in New Orleans 
when Guiraud was only fifteen years of age. Seven years later he won the 
Prix de Rome in Paris, giving him the privilege of four years travel and 
study at the expense of the French Government. In 1864 his Sylvia was 
presented at the Opera Comique in Paris, scoring an immediate success. 

Emile Johns won considerable recognition through his Album Louisi 
ana is, a collection of original compositions. Johns, also one of the city s 
pioneer publishers, was a great admirer of beautiful Creole women, 
dedicating many of his works to them. Florian Schaffter, although not a 
native of the city, came to New Orleans while still a youth, and in addition 
to composing music served as organist and choirmaster at the Christ 
Church Cathedral for forty years. He was also one of the best-known in 
structors of the city, giving lessons in theory, piano, organ, and voice. 
Theodore von La Hache, a native of Germany, spent the greater part of 
his life in New Orleans composing and acting as organist at various 
churches of the city. In his Yearly Musical Album were many composi 
tions portraying life in New Orleans, By the Banks of the River being 
one of his most popular melodies. 

140 Economic and Social Development 

I Wish I Was In Dixie, written in 1859 by Daniel D. Emmet as a 
walk-around for Bryant s Minstrel Troupe of New York, attained its 
widespread popularity, according to one authority, after its appearance 
in New Orleans in the fall of 1860, when Mrs. John Wood sang it at a per 
formance of John Brougham s burlesque, Pocahontas. It became popu 
lar overnight, and within a short time the entire city was humming the 
tune. A New Orleans publisher, P.P. Werlein, aware of the possibilities of 
the hit, had the air harmonized and rewritten. Various versions of the 
song appeared in different parts of the country and Dixie became almost 
as popular in the North and East as in the South. After the Civil War 
started it became the war song of the Confederacy. Werlein s version, 
expressive of the strong Southern feeling on the eve of the war, differs 
slightly from the modern song, as shown in the first and third verses of the 

I wish I was in de land of cotton, Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom look a-way 

a-way in Dix-ey." 
Dix-ey s land where I was born in early on one frosty morning look a-way 

a-way in Dix-ey. 

Buckwheat cakes and good strong butter makes my mouf go flit-ter flut-ter 

look a-way a-way a-way in Dix-ey. 
Here s a health to the good ole Mis-sis or to all the gals dat want to kiss us look 

a-way a-way a-way in Dix-ey. 

All music lovers are familiar with the meteoric rise of Adelina Patti, 
who had her first extended engagement at the New Orleans French Opera 
House in 1860. Her initial performance was in Lucia, a role which won 
her instant recognition in the musical world. While in New Orleans Patti 
resided in the Vieux Carre at 629-631 Royal Street, two blocks from the 
Opera House. From New Orleans she went to Havana and to London, to 
one of the most remarkable careers in the history of modern music. 

Catarina Marco, who shared honors with Patti in Moscow in 1875, was 
born in New Orleans in 1853, the daughter of an actor named Mark 
Smith. Most of her life was spent in Europe. She made her American 
debut in New York in 1872, and sang again in America in 1878 and 1879. 
In 1927, when over seventy, she gave a come-back concert in New York 
and was acclaimed the oldest soprano in the United States. 

One of the most popular bands ever to appear in New Orleans was that 
under the direction of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, commonly called Band 
master Gilmore. An excellent example of his showmanship was demon 
strated in 1864 when Louisiana, under the carpetbag legislature, elected 

Music 141 

Michael Hahn as Governor. Gilmore sought out, in public schools, 
saloons, and alleys, all available tenors and basses and finally assembled 
a grand chorus of five thousand voices. All the military bands, about 
five hundred strong, and a huge drum and trumpet corps were merged into 
this assembly. The concert was given at Lafayette Square amidst a 
thunderous roar of cannon and the continuous pealing of bells. It was a 
tremendous triumph for Gilmore. Just before the close of the Civil War 
he brought out When Johnny Comes Marching Home. It is unknown 
whether the pseudonym Louis Lambert belongs to him or another, but he 
claims the air as his own. 

The years of depression following the Civil War brought about a notice 
able decline in music in New Orleans. Several theaters closed their doors, 
and numerous music groups and societies were disbanded. 

The renewal of interest in music in New Orleans during the late nine 
teenth and early twentieth century may be attributed in large part to a 
number of able instructors, some of whom were born in the city, and others 
of whom came to New Orleans from European countries. Giuseppe 
Ferrata, a pupil of Liszt, taught at the Sophie Newcomb College of New 
Orleans for many years and also produced original compositions. Gre- 
gorio Curto, a native of Spain, was responsible, according to contemporary 
critics, for a generation of singers in New Orleans. Like Ferrata, he 
produced compositions of his own, many of them being published as 
church music. Mme. Marguerite Samuels was well known for her work as 
teacher of piano. Mark Kaiser, who was sent to Paris for instruction by 
his New Orleans admirers, was a noted violinist and teacher. Mme. Jane 
Feodor, who sang in the French Opera in 1902, and the late Ernesto 
Gargano were both well-known teachers of voice. 

There were numerous choral organizations in New Orleans during this 
period; and in 1890 the city was chosen for the national Saengerfest of 
German singing societies. Among the old choral societies which are now 
no longer active were the Orphean Franqais, of male voices, with George 
O Connell as leader; the Polyhymnia Circle, for many years the only 
mixed chorus in the city; a women s chorus directed by Victor Despom- 
mier which gave large choral works with the assistance of soloists from the 
East; the Quartet Club, an organization sponsored by German singers; 
and the Choral Symphony Society, which was directed by Ferdinand 
Dunkley and consisted of orchestra and chorus. 

Today the New Orleans Philharmonic Society, which succeeded the 
Choral Symphony Society in 1906, is one of the city s leading musical 
organizations. The society was formed by Miss Corinne Meyer and held 

142 Economic and Social Development 

its first concert in the spring of 1907. The main object of this organization 
is to bring to New Orleans outstanding artists and concert groups, whose 
programs are presented at the Municipal Auditorium. In April 1936, in 
celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the society, the 
directors secured the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leo 
pold Stokowski. 

The Philharmonic Society also sponsors concerts of chamber music 
groups such as the Dixon Hall Series, which gives performances at New- 
comb College for the benefit of a scholarship fund, and the Junior Phil 
harmonic, which offers competitive auditions to amateur artists. 

The New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra, a newly organized group 
under the direction of Arthur Zack, opened its initial season October 12 
to March 25, 1936-37, presenting six concerts in all. The orchestra in 
cluded sixty professional artists who presented selections from Bach, 
Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner, 
Franck, Debussy, Ravel, Elgar, and Strauss. The last concert in the 
series presented a symphonic prelude, Orleans Alley, an impression of 
New Orleans and its early-morning street cries composed by John Beach r 
who taught and composed in the city from 1904 to 1907. Included on 
the same program was New Orleans, an overture based on Mardi Gras, 
which won for its composer, Mortimer Wilson, a five-hundred-dollar 
prize offered by Hugo Riesenfeld of New York in 1920 for the best original 
American overture. Youth concerts, showing the relation to the orches 
tra of various groups, such as percussion, wind, brass, and string, are also 

The Newcomb College of Music, in existence since 1909, is well re 
cognized throughout the country. Doctor Leon Ryder Maxwell, who has 
been director since 1910, has a national reputation as a music educator. 
Recitals are held at Newcomb every Thursday afternoon throughout the 
school year at Dixon Hall, local, faculty, and outside artists participating. 
The music department of Loyola University is under the direction of 
Doctor Ernest Schuyten, founder of the New Orleans Conservatory of 
Music and Dramatic Art, which was absorbed by Loyola. The Loyola 
orchestra is one of the best college orchestras in the State. Dillard Uni 
versity sponsors the Lower Mississippi Valley Musical Festival, an 
annual event. At the inaugural festival in 1937 more than three hundred 
Negro choristers from some twenty communities sang at the school. Part 
of a twenty-five-thousand-dollar fund is devoted to the development of 
the Music Department which has a fine collection of more than eight 
hundred records. 

Music 143 

There are several orchestras in the city, only a few of which, however, 
are permanent organizations. Albert Kirst s Orchestra, which plays 
daily at the Fountain Room of the Roosevelt Hotel and broadcasts over 
WWL, is one of the best known. There are also numerous spot orches 
tras which have no permanent location but play intermittently as dance, 
wedding, or banquet engagements are booked. Among them are Johnny 
De Droit s Orchestra and Gordon Kirst s Orchestra. The Filiberto 
Mandolin Orchestra, composed of thirty Orleanians under the direction 
of Roger G. Filiberto, won first place in the Music Guild contests in 1934, 
1935, and 1936. 

Among the fifty or more Negro bands in the city, Celestin s Tuxedo 
Orchestra stands out as one of the foremost in the South. Many out 
standing musicians obtained their start with Oscar Celestin. There are 
a variety of Negro choral groups in New Orleans which specialize in 
spirituals, hymns, and classic and semi-classic melodies; performances are 
given at churches, radio stations, clubs, and schools. The James A. 
Gayle Music Company, Pythian Temple Building, is the only Negro 
publishing company in New Orleans. Phonograph records of local music 
may be purchased at stores along North Rampart Street. 

There are a number of concert band groups in New Orleans which pre 
sent complimentary programs at various charitable institutions and 
parks. Harry Mendelson s Band, composed of students from the Mendel- 
son School of Music, gives free concerts at City Park twice a week (Sun 
day and Wednesday afternoons). The State Band and Orchestra School 
(for children) and the Stephenson Boys and Girls Band both give 
free concerts at Audubon and City Parks, and frequently at school pro 
grams, asylums, and hospitals. The Federal Music Projects of Louisiana, 
under the able direction of Rene Salomon, conducts several music groups, 
including a small symphony orchestra. 

Choral societies now active include the Treble Clef, a women s chorus; 
the Cercle Lyrique, a mixed chorus of French singers under the direction 
of Mrs. Dupuy Harrison; the Deutsches Haus male chorus, a merger of 
the Harugari and Turnverein choral clubs of former years, which continues 
the traditions of German Maiinerchor singing under Professor Drueding; 
and the Apollo Club, a male chorus under Louis Panzeri. The usual 
church and school organizations are also active. 

Among the other contemporary musicians of New Orleans who have 
won recognition for their achievements are Ferdinand Luis Dunkley, 
composer, organist, and conductor now affiliated with Loyola University; 
Henri Wehrmann, violinist and composer of Creole melodies; Mme. 

144 Economic and Social Development 

Eugenie Wehrmann-Schaffner, now head of the piano department of 
Louisiana State University; Walter Goldstein of Newcomb School of 
Music, and well-known piano teacher and lecturer on musical subjects; 
Mme. Eda Flotte-Ricau, Rene Salomon, and Maynard Klein, also of 
Newcomb; Mrs. Anita Socola Specht, who won the first prize as the best 
amateur pianist in the United States at the Columbian Exposition in 
Chicago, in 1893; an ^ Miss Ruth Harrison, formerly connected with the 
French Opera and now a teacher of voice. Claire Coci is a well-known 

Among the present singers of note are Edna Thomas, mezzo-soprano, 
who has gained a reputation both in America and Europe for her Negro 
spirituals, folk songs, and New Orleans street cries; Sidney Raynor, now 
with the Metropolitan ; Kitty Carlisle, who has appeared both in movies 
and on Broadway; Rose Dirmann, Bernadine Wolf, Julian Lafaye, and 
the Boswell Sisters. 

Those interested in musical collections will find at the Howard Memo 
rial and New Orleans Public Libraries several shelves devoted to sheet 
music, old scores, and historical data relating to composers and their 
productions. At the former will be found a fine collection of Creole and 
Negro songs portraying life among the slaves and early residents of New 
Orleans. Both libraries are open to the public. 


THE United States has but few cities wherein the architecture of their 
original inhabitants has left a permanent stamp of distinctiveness and 
individuality. New Orleans is one of them. As a city within a city, its 
Vieux Carre, or French Quarter, is unique; for this original portion of New 
Orleans still retains the same architectural dress and flavor that charac 
terized it more than a hundred years ago. Perfectly conceived and ad 
mirably suited to the needs of its early citizens, the straight, narrow streets 
and brick houses of this old town remain as a monument to the people who 
first settled Louisiana. 

But the architecture of New Orleans is more than that. It is a living 
chapter in the changing panorama of the city s historical and social de 
velopment. The original city plan, as designed by Bienville and his en 
gineers, was similar to that employed in the erection of most outposts in 
Louisiana. The town was rectangular in shape and was surrounded by a 
palisade and foss fortified by five forts. The streets, of even length and 
width, ran at right angles, and a place d armes, or public square, occupied 
the central portion of town facing the levee in front of a small church. 
As the old quarters became too cramped, the city sprawled out gradually 
in several directions; while from its distant outskirts an inward move 
ment took place. The curvature of the river, and the annexation of 
suburbs before the development of low-lying, swampy central areas was 
completed, made uniform street-plotting a difficult matter. 

All the environmental changes brought about by the growth of the city 
coincided with other changes in wealth, social consciousness, desires, 

146 Economic and Social Development 

ambitions. These influences crept in as the city grew in size and impor 
tance; so that instead of retaining their original aspect, the houses and 
public buildings of New Orleans acquired a motley appearance, which 
owes its existence to the fusion of many tastes and temperaments. Thus 
the individuality of New Orleans, which is at variance with the character 
of other cities, likewise varies within itself. Certain localities stand out 
by virtue of their own peculiar architectural make-up, to which they 
cling tenaciously in the face of changing modes and modern standardiza 
tion. Besides the old French Quarter, the two other sections of the city 
that most amply repay the architecturally minded visitor for his trip are 
the Garden District and the headwaters of the Bayou St. John. 

Two centuries of expansion and change have not robbed the Vieux 
Carre of its identity. Few of its present buildings, to be sure, were erected 
by the founders of the city; yet most of those that stand today are re 
miniscent of the eighteenth century, having absorbed its charm, it would 
seem, through heredity. The earliest structures, hurriedly built of split 
cypress slabs, were of no architectural importance. They merely served 
as makeshift residences until the advent of the Ursuline nuns and the 
files a la cassette, whereupon more substantial and comfortable buildings 
became necessary. The half-timber method of construction was borrowed 
from Europe. Durable structures built of brick laid in between timbers 
(briquete entre poteaux, in which the soft porous quality of the domestic 
bricks was reinforced by stout cypress timbers) gradually replaced the 
wooden dwellings, although not until after the great fires of 1788 and 1794 
did this type of construction gain widespread acceptance. These early 
buildings were of a type frequently found in European towns; that is, 
they usually combined shop and residence in one, the proprietor and his 
family dwelling above his place of business, in the gabled rooms under the 
roof. The houses were all low-roofed, seldom over a story and a half in 
height, with a wide, projecting overhang protecting the sidewalk, the roof 
sloping invariably toward the front and rear, and generally having gable- 
ends at the sides. Occasional dormer windows and centrally located 
chimneys relieved the monotonous pitch of the roofs. This style of build 
ing persisted long after brick, stucco, and slate roofs were introduced ; so 
that today the visitor may wander along street after street in the Vieux 
Carre and see many small shops of brick plastered over, the falling off 
here and there of the plaster revealing the soft-toned orange brick. 

The finest example of the original French construction remains stand 
ing today in an excellent state of preservation. It is the Couvent des 
Ursulines, later known as the Old Archbishopric. The exterior of this. 

Architecture 147 

two-storied brick edifice, with its plain stucco-finished facade, its high- 
pitched roof and well-spaced dormer windows, and its tall slender chim 
neys, strongly suggests the contemporary French Renaissance architec 
ture. The interior, however, is quite plain and unpretentious. Its great 
bare beams remain today just as they were left by the axe that fashioned 
them. Completed in 1734, this building is said to be the oldest now stand 
ing in the Mississippi Valley, although recent research shows that Ma 
dame John s Legacy, 623 Dumaine Street, has a claim to the distinction. 

Half a century after the city was founded it was under Spanish domina 
tion. And despite their unpopularity, the Spaniards gradually superim 
posed their own architectural ideas upon those already established. The 
eventual result was a native style, part French, part Spanish, but not 
quite either or even both, which has no duplicate on the American con 
tinent. This new type of architecture flowered during the third epoch of 
the city s growth; that is, in the years following the two conflagrations 
that ravaged the town of virtually all its original residences and public 
buildings. At first the changes in design were relatively slight. One-and-a- 
half-story buildings, which served as residence and shop, continued in 
vogue; but tile and slate roofs replaced shingled ones, and brick houses 
superseded frame ones, in a concerted city-wide effort to prevent future 
disasters. Now, however, a more dignified class of establishments began 
to appear, two full stories in height, or two stories and an attic. 

This was the era of the patio or courtyard dwelling. Wealthy citizens 
began building large houses along Royal, Bourbon, Conti, St. Louis, and 
Toulouse Streets, the chief function of which was to provide comfort and 
spaciousness in a neighborhood which, with its sloppy, poorly drained 
streets and narrow lots, gave evidence of neither. Originally created for 
the sake of expedience, these houses form the most architecturally inter 
esting group of buildings in the Vieux Carre. They are in a real sense, as 
one authority says, architecture, inasmuch as their style and arrange 
ment are founded upon the fundamental conditions of a contemporary 
society. Social customs, climate, local materials, and cultured taste have 
each contributed toward making these delightful dwellings almost per 
sonal witnesses of their environment/ Latter-day architects have found 
it difficult to devise anything more suitable for year-round habitation in 
New Orleans than these elegant courtyard dwellings. 

They were built flush with the street line, and instead of affording a 
broad, flowered front-lawn vista from a wide veranda, such as was com 
mon to their contemporaries, the plantation dwellings on Bayou St. 
John, they hid their interior beauties from the outside world. Casual 

148 Economic and Social Development 

passersby saw nothing but a plain, two-story facade fronting the ban 
quette, above which hung a lacy, weblike pattern of ironwork galleries 
adorning the second stories. These delicate traceries, which offset the 
austerity of the smooth-stuccoed brick walls and delighted the eyes of 
generations of visitors, have been pronounced by critics the chief dis 
tinction of New Orleans architecture. 

Of the two distinct kinds of ironwork, wrought and cast iron, the 
wrought decorations are the older. For grace and balance of mass, and 
painstaking craftsmanship, this is the finer work; but the intricate detail 
of the cast iron is more varied. 

Charming but preposterous tales have been circulated concerning the 
making of these grilles and balconies. They are supposed to be the handi 
work of unskilled slave labor, sweating before open hearths; other legends 
have them made by the brothers Lafitte, Jean and Pierre, whose black 
smith shop was a blind for the lucrative trade of slave-smuggling. The 
Lafittes were even said to number among their black ivory customers 
such respectable citizens as the church wardens of the cathedral, and the 
Governor himself, all entering the shop ostensibly to contract for iron 

These tales, though interesting, are highly improbable; although re 
cords show that the Lafittes did own a blacksmith shop there is nothing 
to show that the shop was ever anything other than a blind. The earliest 
ironwork was imported, there being then no known deposits of iron ore 
near New Orleans. According to Stanley Arthur s Old New Orleans, the 
wrought-iron decorations were probably made in the vicinity of Seville. 
Mr. Moise Goldstein and other authorities, however, dispute the Seville 
origin. Later, local artisans began to produce wrought iron comparable 
to the imported article. 

The more pretentious houses used monograms, the initials woven re 
peatedly through the design. This fashion extended well into the cast- 
iron era, which dawned in New Orleans in the late i82o s. By 1840 cast 
iron had superseded the finer, but more costly, hand-wrought decorations. 
It was clear that there were great possibilities for freedom of design in a 
material that could be easily worked into intricate and delicate lines, and 
the early architects immediately put aside the tendency to appropriate 
the architectural forms and ornaments of other nations and sought their 
motifs of design in the infinite variety of plant growth luxuriant in their 
own southern climate. The tulip pattern, the rose vine, the morning 
glory, the maize, and the live oak predominate in the work produced at 
this time. Among the other designs one of the most interesting is the 

Architecture 149 

bow-and-arrow, in which the bow is a bow of ribbon tying two crossed 

To enter the courtyard house one passed through massive portals into 
a high-arched flagstoned alleyway which, wide enough to admit a car 
riage, led from the banquette to an inner courtyard garden, surrounded 
by high walls that provided an abundance of shade throughout the day. 
Life in such habitations as these possessed a distinctly European flavor; 
for the inhabitants, seated in their cool patios or on the verandas that 
surrounded them, enjoyed absolute freedom from the hot, dusty streets. 
Most of the houses of this type were built during and immediately after 
the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The exquisite details of fan 
windows, spiral staircases, handrails, door panels, and cornices are still 
revealed today. 

After 1840, a new era, born of ante-bellum opulence and expansion, had 
begun. Along with the demand for more cotton and more slaves, flush 
times on the Mississippi created a corresponding demand for newer, finer, 
costlier mansions. During the quarter-century between 1835 and the 
Civil War probably more elegant homes were built in Louisiana than dur 
ing any other period before or since. It was the era of the Greek Revival. 5 
Archaeological discoveries in and around Athens set a new mode in 
American architecture: residences, public buildings, hotels, churches, 
theaters, tombs all were designed in what was thought to be the best 
tradition of ancient Greece. The effect was extremely imposing. 

Many of the finer residences built during this period are still in use. 
Most of them are concentrated in the neighborhood above Jackson Avenue, 
now known as the Garden District because of the spacious and beautifully 
flowered grounds that surround the houses. As a class, the houses them 
selves are large, and l represent the highest expression in domestic archi 
tecture that the wealth and talent of the day were capable of producing. 
Usually designed with an L-shaped plan, these massive brick houses rise 
to a height of two or three stories, their side-wall surfaces of plain, smooth 
stucco or plaster, adorned with richly designed cast-iron galleries, ending 
in a parapet unbroken by conspicuous horizontal band or cornice. Two 
tall chimneys, which serve the fireplaces in their double drawing-rooms, 
break the raked lines of the side wall that mark the gable end of the 
roof; while tall windows and doors relieve the classic plainness of their 
colonnaded facades the arrangement being one of perfect symmetry. 

The interiors of these mansions are stately and elegant in effect, and 
often monumental in proportions. High ceilings, often sixteen to eighteen 
feet on the ground floors, blend harmoniously with tall French windows 

150 Economic and Social Development 

and double doors; the mahogany handrails of the gracefully curving stair 
cases are most delicately turned. Smooth, white plastered walls, sur 
mounted with cornices of ornate plaster scrollwork and the fine marble 
mantels and full-length mirrors, standing in adjoining drawing-rooms, 
complete a background of classic beauty. 

Coincidental with the development of the two types of residential 
architecture mentioned above, a third style of dwelling arose. It may be 
called the plantation house, for want of a more specific name, since that 
was its original purpose. This style of architecture probably owes its 
origin to the Spaniards, though the dictates of climate and environment 
were primarily the cause of its widespread adoption. Basically, this type 
of dwelling differs from the courtyard and Greek Revival residences in 
that it generally has all its main rooms on one floor, through the center 
of which runs a wide hall that gives independent access to each room. 
The house is raised some eight or nine feet above ground level and is 
completely surrounded by a broad veranda that rests on massive, round 
brick columns, which are in turn surmounted by slender wooden posts 
that support the overhanging eaves. The piazza or corridor beneath the 
veranda is usually paved with flagstones, and the basement beneath the 
house may be used for service quarters, laundry, and the like. A straight, 
wide staircase in the center front leads to the veranda, which is accessible 
from virtually all rooms because of their tall French windows. There 
were, of course, numerous variations in this basic type, particularly in 
exterior columnar treatment. 

Many simple plantation homes as well as a number of extremely elab 
orate ones are still scattered throughout Louisiana, but in New Orleans 
only a few remain. They are most concentrated in the neighborhood of the 
Bayou St. John headwaters, where they stand today, long after the plan 
tations that surrounded them have been subdivided into city blocks. The 
Schertz residence, formerly the old custom house, typifies this style of 
architecture, though variations of the plantation house can be seen in 
the Westfeldt residence at 2340 Prytania Street, the Delord Sarpy home 
at 534 Howard Avenue, the Olivier Plantation house at 4111 Chartres 
Street, the Stauffer home, No. 3 Garden Lane, which was formerly the 
Hurst Plantation, and Madame John s Legacy in the Vieux Carre. 

New Orleans best-known monument to the age of the Spanish domina 
tion is the Cabildo. The solid repose of this edifice, originally known as 
the Casa Curial, or courthouse, emanates from the graceful repetition 
of massive arches that make up its facade. Yet an air of delicacy is also 
manifest: the French wrought-iron balconies and the proportioning of the 

Architecture 151 

cornices, pilasters, and pediment are delightful to an eye trained in the 
appreciation of architectural details. The one incongruous note in the 
whole conception is the mansard roof, which, with its dormer windows 
and cupola, was added half a century after the Cabildo s erection in 1795. 
As originally conceived, both the Cabildo and its neighboring counterpart, 
the old Presbytere, which was built in 1813, were flat- topped structures, 
their pediments rising several feet above the roofs; while the Cathedral, 
originally designed in the Spanish mission style, with short bell-shaped 
towers on each side of a central pediment, was considerably different 
from its present appearance. 

Nevertheless, Jackson Square today possesses an individual charm of 
its own. Together with its entourage of stately buildings, it is a monument 
to Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, the altruistic Spanish grandee 
whose funds built the cathedral where he lies buried; and to his daughter, 
Micaela, Baroness Pontalba, who in 1848 built the long row of handsome 
red-brick apartments that still bear her name, and bestowed the name of 
her friend General Jackson upon the place d armes. 

Among other public buildings of the city s early period, the French 
Market deserves mention. Built in 1813, it is an arcaded structure of 
stuccoed brick, with a flagstoned floor. The plan is that of a central 
corridor or promenade from end to end, with stalls between the arches or 

Another fine old building, designed in 1822 by Latrobe, one of the 
architects who designed the Capitol at Washington, stands at the corner 
of Conti and Royal Streets. Heavily constructed of brick, and as nearly 
fireproof as was then possible, this building originally housed the Louisi 
ana State Bank. Diagonally across from it stands another brick building, 
massive and colonnaded, which was erected in 1826 for the Bank of 
Louisiana. The list of public buildings in the Vieux Carre runs on, too 
extensive to permit individual treatment here; yet each building deserves 
more than the visitor s merely casual attention. 

Paul Morphy s house, another former bank building, the old United 
States mint, the old arsenal behind the Cabildo these can still be 
appreciated because they can be seen. But the splendor that belonged to 
such buildings as De Pouilly s masterpieces, the St. Louis Hotel, and the 
Citizens Bank adjoining it, and to Gallier s French Opera House, and to 
the old St. Charles and Orleans Theaters, has perished forever. The loss 
of the St. Louis Hotel, with its dome constructed of hollow cylindrical 
earthenware pots, has been termed an architectural calamity. A still 
greater calamity is in store, however, for unless the famous old buildings 

152 Economic and Social Development 

of New Orleans are carefully and properly preserved against the corrosive 
effects of time and modern standardization, the city will eventually lose 
its most distinctive claim to fame a native architecture that flourished 
a century ago and has never been equaled since. 

But perhaps New Orleans is fortunate in that even a few of its most 
impressive old edifices still stand, gallantly serving their original purpose. 
The men who built them built well: the Dakins, the De Pouillys, and the 
Galliers, pere etfils. The elder Gallier was perhaps the ablest exponent of 
the Greek mode; at least he preferred it to the exclusion of all other styles. 
Besides the numerous fine residences he built, he was commissioned to 
design several public buildings, churches, banks, and the original St. 
Charles Hotel. The City Hall is probably the finest example of Gallier s 
art. Completed in 1853, this building is hardly surpassed in dignity and 
beauty of proportion by any other building of the Greek Revival in the 
United States. 

Some of the most interesting architectural forms in New Orleans are to 
be found in the churches and cemeteries. Generally speaking, the earlier 
churches, like their contemporary dwellings and mansions, deserve the 
greater recognition; for they were designed and built by men whose sole 
idea was to create simple, straightforward edifices for the purpose of 
worship. One is immediately struck with the dignity of conception and 
precise workmanship evident in such fine old buildings as these: Saint 
Louis Cathedral; Saint Alphonsus, on Constance and Josephine Streets; 
Our Lady of Guadalupe, on Rampart and Conti Streets; The Holy 
Trinity, on St. Ferdinand and Dauphine Streets; Saint Augustin, at 
Bayou Road and St. Claude Avenue; Rayne Memorial, on St. Charles 
Avenue and General Taylor Street; and Saint John the Baptist, 1139 
Dryades Street. 

Nathaniel C. Curtis writes: 1850-1860 was a period when brick masons 

of rare skill flourished in New Orleans In these old churches built 

entirely of brick, architectural forms and details appropriate to brick 
have been devised and employed with an intelligence superior to that 
shown in later work. It may be said with probable truth that as examples 
of the organic expression of brick architecture, these edifices are hardly 
equalled by any elsewhere in the United States, and are fairly comparable 
to the latter fifteenth century brick churches of Rome. The exteriors of 
these early churches are, on the whole, in better taste than their interiors. 
The splendid little Holy Trinity Church on St. Ferdinand Street, however, 
proves an exception to that statement, for there are combined grace, 
harmony, and simplicity of design and execution, both inside and out. 





1 i 








Architecture 153 

On the other hand, what New Orleans more recent churches lack in 
grace and simplicity they make up for in ornateness and gingerbread : 
lavish accessories imported from foreign lands that often do not blend 
harmoniously with their surroundings, but stand out rather too boldly 
in exaggerated relief. An infinity of combinations is manifest. But the 
Roman Catholic churches, in the main, have retained not only a certain 
homogeneity of design but also a great deal of beauty, despite the vaga 
ries of their divers builders. Modified Gothic motifs prevail in many 
of them, so that one grows accustomed to finding certain minor varia 
tions in spires and rose windows and lofty, pointed arches all of 
which reflect the same general idea. The interiors of many of these 
churches are highly ornate; their focal point is an elaborate display of 
towering altar at the intersection of nave and transept. Among the 
city s most interesting churches in this category are the Church of the 
Immaculate Conception, an adaptation of Hispano-Moorish architec 
ture; Saint Stephen s Church, on Napoleon Avenue; Holy Name of 
Jesus, on St. Charles Avenue; Saint Joseph s, on Tulane Avenue; Our 
Lady of Lourdes, on Napoleon Avenue; and Saint Anthony of Padua, 
on Canal Street. 

The other denominations have on the whole less lavish churches, 
though hardly less varied architectural styles. At least three Jewish 
synagogues in New Orleans are outstanding. Foremost among these is 
Temple Sinai on St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street, a modern 
interpretation of Byzantine architecture built .of light-colored brick and 
limestone. Another, Touro Synagogue, at St. Charles Avenue and General 
Pershing Street, is notable for its perfectly spherical tiled domes and for 
the variegated color effects which the tiles produce. The third, Beth 
Israel, 1622 Carondelet Street, shows an Arabic influence. 

Many of the Protestant churches are designed in modified Gothic styles, 
some in simpler classic styles, and some in styles that defy precise iden 
tification. Among the most impressive Protestant churches are: Christ 
Church Cathedral (Episcopal) at St. Charles Avenue and Sixth Street; 
the Napoleon Avenue Presbyterian Church, at St. Charles and Napoleon 
Avenues; the St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, at St. Charles 
Avenue and State Street; the Saint Mark s Methodist Episcopal Church, 
at Rampart and Governor Nicholls Streets; and the Prytania Street 
Presbyterian Church, at Josephine and Prytania Streets. 

The fame of New Orleans many cemeteries has become so widespread 
that little need be said about them here. They resemble miniature 
towns. Ever since the early days, when earth burial was found to be 

154 Economic and Social Development 

impracticable in New Orleans, custom has decreed that the tombs of the 
dead be as magnificent as money can buy. As a result, nearly every 
burial place in the city presents row upon row of tombs built of marble, 
granite, sandstone, and limestone, and designed in countless variations 
and adaptations of architectural patterns Egyptian, Greek, Gothic, 
and modern. 

Post-bellum architecture in New Orleans, owing to an ill-digested 
eclecticism, as well as to an impoverished reconstructed South, was an 
unfortunate synthesis of bad taste. After the Civil War, foreign architects 
were no longer attracted to New Orleans, and native talent was virtually 
nonexistent. The city, however, was not alone in its poverty; through 
out the Nation as a whole the art of building had fallen upon evil days. 
Out of a welter of incongruous styles prevalent during the Victorian era, 
only one arose which seemed destined to revive American architecture 
and stabilize it. That was the Romanesque style adopted by Henry 
Hobson Richardson. Richardson was a native of Louisiana, who had 
studied abroad in the Ecole des Beaux Arts, but who spent the most 
fruitful years of his life in New England. New Orleans has but one 
building actually designed by Richardson, the Howard Memorial Library, 
and only a few others, notably on the Tulane University campus, that 
are done in his manner. 

Splendidly executed in massive brown sandstone, the Howard Library 
resembles nothing so much as a medieval fortress. The exterior clearly 
shows Richardson s deep feeling for solid masonry; but the interior, 
despite its high-vaulted ceiling, has a dim, somber aspect. Nevertheless, 
it is one of the most substantial pieces of architecture in the city, and 
may outlast many a more recent structure. 

Some extraordinary examples of bad carpenter architecture are to be 
found among the more pretentious residences erected during the last 
decades of the nineteenth and the first of the twentieth centuries. These 
are interesting by virtue of their extreme confusion in mass and their 
elaborate and wholly incongruous ornamentation. Innumerable wings, 
bay windows, turrets, dormers, and galleries were put together without 
rhyme or reason; wooden fretwork, in tortured design, was attached to 
almost every available surface; stained-glass windows and cut-glass front 
doors heightened the effect. Topped by mansard roofs, in turn sur 
mounted by weather vanes and lightning rods, these houses today 
present amusing and at times almost terrifying examples of Steamboat 

The smaller houses of this period offer several interesting types: the 

Architecture 155 

double cottage or, as the English say, the semi-detached villa ; the 
camel-back house, of which the front is one story, the rear two; and the 
shotgun cottage, so called because the rooms are built one behind 
another with the doors in line, so that a charge of shot fired in the 
front door could pass through the entire house and out the back door. 

Of strictly modern architecture New Orleans has but few examples. 
The most recent of its skyscrapers are the Hibernia, American, and Canal 
Banks, and the Pere Marquette Building. Possibly the closest approxi 
mation to what is now considered modern architecture is the Shushan 
Airport s administrative building. 


NEW ORLEANS has long served as a proving-ground for applied science. 
In overcoming the problems arising from the soggy nature of the subsoil, 
the low elevation of the city, climatic conditions favorable to malignant 
diseases, and the danger of Mississippi flood waters, New Orleans has 
made many contributions to scientific advancement. 

Noteworthy work has been done in medicine, especially in the control 
of yellow fever, malaria, cholera, smallpox, hookworm, and dysentery 
diseases which once, because of climatic conditions, lack of adequate 
sewage disposal, and poor drainage, proved a scourge to the city. They 
are now under control, and the danger of epidemics has been minimized. 

Although the discovery of the causative agent of yellow fever was made 
elsewhere, many of the problems of practical control in large cities were 
solved in New Orleans by local physicians. Samuel Chopin, C. B. White, 
A. W. Perry, and others introduced quarantine and disinfecting methods 
which, though the carrier of the disease was unknown at the time, were 

Science 157 

instrumental in checking the fearful toll of yellow-fever epidemics. Doctor 
Charles Faget contributed an indispensable diagnostic sign of yellow 
fever a fall in the pulse rate during the first days of the disease. 

In other fields of medicine New Orleans physicians and surgeons have 
done much pioneer work and have made many important contributions: 
C. C. Bass and F. M. Johns, cultivation of the plasmodium of malarial 
fever; A. W. De Roaldes, establishment of the first eye, ear, nose, and 
throat hospital in the South; Ernest S. Lewis, pioneer work in gynecology ; 
C. A. Luzenburg, removal of a gangrenous bowel in hernia; J. L. Riddell, 
invention of the binocular microscope; H. D. Schmidt, demonstration of 
the origin of bile ducts in intercellular spaces; A. W. Smyth, ligation of 
the innominate artery; Warren Stone, work on aneurysm, and resection 
of a rib to secure permanent drainage in empyema. Doctor Edmond 
Souchon developed two methods of retaining the color of muscles and 
organs in the preservation of anatomic dissections; the curing method 
using arsenic, calcium chloride, and formol; and the physical or paint 
method by which colorless muscles in a dissection are given permanent 
color. In addition to founding the Souchon Museum of Anatomy at 
Tulane University, he did much original work on aneurysm of the sub- 
clavian artery and aorta. Doctor Rudolph Matas, world-famous surgeon, 
has made many contributions to surgery, especially to vascular surgery, 
as well as a method of reducing and securing fixation of zygomatic frac 
tures, an original method of blocking nerves in regional anesthesia, and 
the application of spinal subarachnoid anesthesia for surgical purposes. 
Valuable contributions to the medical profession have also been made by 
Caine, Bruno, Jamison, Couret, Parham, Martin, Compton, and Lynch. 

In dentistry, Doctor Edmund C. Kells, about thirty-five years ago, was 
the first to employ the X-ray in his profession. A recent noteworthy 
accomplishment in dentistry was the method devised by Doctor S. C. 
Fournet and his assistant, C. S. Tuller, for stabilizing and retaining lower 
dentures. The Loyola Dental School, established in 1914, is rated as a 
class A dental school, and is one of the best-equipped institutions of its 
kind in the South. 

In Charity Hospital New Orleans has one of the finest medical institu 
tions in the country. Almost every physician in the city and a number 
practising in the neighboring parishes do part-time work at the hospital. 
The Medical Schools of Tulane and Louisiana State Universities train 
their students at the hospital and carry on much valuable research. Both 
medical schools rank with the best in America. The Tulane Medical 
School began in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana and merged in 

158 Economic and Social Development 

1845 with the University of Louisiana, forerunner of Tulane University. 
In the Department of Tropical Medicine much important research is 
carried on in tropical diseases. The Medical Center of Louisiana State 
University, established in 1932, is domiciled on Charity Hospital grounds 
and has all the facilities of the hospital at its command. It is one of the 
few medical schools in the country requiring a fifth year of interneship. 
The Flint-Goodridge Hospital is one of the South s leading hospitals 
for Negroes. 

A constant menace to New Orleans ever since its founding has been the 
danger of overflow of the Mississippi River. Levees were built soon after 
1718 as a protective measure, and the two centuries of maintenance and 
improvement that followed have added much to man s knowledge of the 
river and the means of controlling it. Various flood-control measures 
have been tried, but the most important, and one which gives the city the 
greatest assurance, is the recently constructed Bonnet Carre Spillway, a 
dike-enclosed runway used during high-flood stage to divert a great por 
tion of water (maximum capacity 250,000 cubic feet of water per second) 
from the Mississippi to Lake Pontchartrain. The spillway was first used 
in 1937, when it was estimated that the stage at New Orleans was lowered 
approximately three and one-half feet through its use. 

Flood-control work is carried on by the War Department, which main 
tains a district office (United States Engineers, Second New Orleans Dis 
trict) at New Orleans. A floating asphalt plant and a fleet of dredge boats, 
cranes, launches, etc., are in constant use in dredging, revetment work, 
and levee construction. 

In making the Mississippi navigable for large ocean-going ships great 
difficulties were encountered by engineers in maintaining a channel at the 
mouth of the river, where deposits of silt are built up in the form of banks 
and bars. Adrien De Pauger, Colonial engineer, as early as 1721 advo 
cated the construction of jetties as the best means of obtaining a channel 
of suitable depth. Various other methods were tried, and much money 
was spent before De Pauger s plan was carried out by James B. Eads, 
whose no cure, no pay proposition was endorsed by Congress in 1874. 
Eads proposed to create and maintain, by means of jetties, a twenty- 
eight-foot channel for $10,000,000, payments to begin when a depth of 
twenty feet was secured and continue as certain other depths were reached. 
Final payment was to be made upon permanence of the channel for ten 
years. A wall of willow mattresses, stone, and debris was constructed on 
each side of the proposed channel, confining the current of the river and 
forcing it to cut and maintain a deeper channel. By 1880 a depth of 

Science 159 

thirty-two feet was reached. Today a thirty-five-foot channel of an aver 
age width of one thousand feet is maintained at the mouth of the 

Because of the low elevation of the city and the fact that it is entirely 
surrounded by levees, the drainage and sewerage systems of New Orleans 
differ radically from those of other American cities. Drainage has to be 
pumped out of the city from a network of canals, and the pumping ap 
paratus, to take care of torrential rains, must necessarily be of the best 
type obtainable. Screw pumps developed by a local engineer, Albert B. 
Wood, are employed, and are said to be the largest of their kind in the 
world. Since 1900 a modern sewer system has been developed, in which 
underground mains have been substituted for the former unsanitary open 

Furnishing the rapidly expanding city of New Orleans with pure water 
was another problem which taxed the ingenuity of its inhabitants. For 
more than one hundred years after the founding of the city the towns 
people were dependent mainly on water taken manually from the river 
and from cisterns. Drinking water was peddled through the streets, 
usually at exorbitant prices. Early waterworks piped a limited amount 
of water to residences near the river, but the water was usually muddy and 
unfit for domestic purposes. Between 1892 and 1900 much valuable in 
formation concerning methods of purification was gathered by George G. 
Earl, General Superintendent of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water 
Board, and an experimental purification plant was established in Audu- 
bon Park. The modern and highly efficient system in use today is a result 
of these long years of experimentation. Water is pumped from the river 
into a thirty-six-acre tract of open reservoirs, where it is permitted to settle 
before passing through a battery of twenty-eight filters to be purified 
with a chlorine treatment. Four steam-driven and two electrically 
driven pumps, with a total capacity of 160,000,000 gallons per day, force 
the water through more than five hundred miles of city mains. 

Scientific advancement was also made as other public utilities were 
developed. The present street-car system is a result of a century of ex 
perimentation in which horsecars, steam engines, walking cars, fireless 
engines, and electric trolleys were employed. Gas was introduced in 1823 
by James H. Caldwell, who imported a gas machine from England to 
illuminate his American Theater. Electric lighting was one of the wonders 
of the Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884, and came into general usage 
some years later. The growth of these services has kept pace with city 
expansion, but development has been made possible only by local scien- 

160 Economic and Social Development 

tists who through engineering skill and inventive genius overcame pro 
blems of construction and improvement. 

In the industrial development of New Orleans applied science has 
played an important part, as exemplified by the sugar industry. Early 
sugar-cane planters tried various methods of refining the cane, but were 
successful only in producing a milk sugar or * marmalade of poor quality. 
Etienne de Bore finally succeeded in granulating cane on a commercial 
scale on his plantation (now part of Audubon Park) in 1795. His success 
immediately encouraged other planters to build sugar factories and em 
ploy his refining method. Since then the industry has developed as im 
provements were made by pioneer refiners. John J. Coiron, in 1822, in 
troduced steam power in the manufacture of sugar, and, about 1840, burners 
for the utilization of cane pulp, or bagasse, as a fuel were perfected. Nor- 
bert Rillieux, a native of New Orleans, revolutionized sugar-boiling 
through his invention of the multiple effect apparatus in 1830 .The inven 
tion of the centrifugal machine in 1844, the use of bisulphateof lime for 
bleaching in 1840, and the invention of the filter press in 1853 aided in 
developing the sugar industry by speeding production and decreasing 
manufacturing costs. Along with these mechanical improvements went 
agricultural experiments, resulting in the development of superior types 
of cane. The Sugar Experiment Station was established in 1885, and in 
conjunction with the Audubon Sugar School, founded in 1891, conducted 
research in the agricultural and technological fields of the sugar industry 
and trained experts for sugar-mill operation. The Audubon Sugar School 
was taken over by Louisiana State University in 1899, and the Sugar 
Experiment Station functioned until 1923. In 1922 a plant atMarrero, 
across the river from New Orleans, began the production of Celotex, 
a building material made of bagasse, sugar-cane refuse formerly discarded 
or used as fuel. 

Various scientific societies, along with the educational institutions of 
the city, serve to popularize theoretical science and stimulate research and 
experimentation. The New Orleans Academy of Sciences, founded in 
1853, has done much in this respect, and has co-operated with various 
civic bodies in scientific work of benefit to the city. The cotton cushion 
scale, camphor tree scale, and Argentine ant were eradicated as a result 
of the academy s work. The Junior Academy of Sciences, composed of 
members having interest in sciences of the type taught in high schools, is 
affiliated with the older institution through Tulane University. The 
Louisiana branch of the American Chemical Society, established in Janu 
ary, 1906, by Professors B. J. Caldwell and W. R. Betts, is concerned with 

Science 161 

all phases of chemistry, its object being to promote interest in that science 
among its members. The Louisiana Engineering Society, a branch of the 
National Engineering Society, is composed for the most part of engineers 
and professors of the local colleges of engineering, who are encouraged to 
do individual experimentation and report upon their findings. 

In the realm of pure science much important work is being done in the 
Department of Middle American Research of Tulane University. Under 
the direction of Frans Blom, research in archeology, ethnology, an 
thropology, and allied sciences is conducted in Mexico, Central America, 
and the West Indies. Since its establishment in 1924 the department has 
developed the foremost library in its field in the world. Material col 
lected on more than a dozen expeditions is housed in a museum and in 
various places on the campus. 

In the collection and publication of meteorological data, the work of 
Doctor Isaac M. Cline, forecaster and director of the local station of the 
United States Weather Bureau from 1900 to 1935, is particularly note 
worthy. Doctor Cline has written extensively on climate in New Orleans 
and in Louisiana and on general meteorology; his treatise, Tropical 
Cyclones, has been acclaimed as an outstanding contribution to the science. 

Seismological and meteorological data are recorded at the Nicholas D. 
Burk Seismological Observatory of Loyola University, where vertical and 
horizontal instruments of the Wiechert astatic type are under observation. 

In airplane designing and research in aeronautics much valuable work 
has been done in New Orleans. James Wedell, in his famous 44, a plane 
of his own design, broke the land-plane speed record in 1933. He made 
many improvements in plane designing and was known internationally 
for the fast ships he built. The Delgado Maid, designed by Byron 
Armstrong, head of the aeronautics department of the Isaac Delgado 
Trades School, and built by students of the school, was one of the fastest 
planes ever constructed in the United States. It attained a speed of 420 
miles per hour in trial flights before it crashed at the air meet held in New 
Orleans in 1936. 

Because of its semitropical climate, long growing season, and geograph 
ical position New Orleans is the logical site for an arboretum, plans for 
which are now under consideration. A general botanical garden, with an 
assemblage of trees, shrubs, and woody vines, including sample forest 
types of the South, and a collection of woody plants used in agriculture, 
industry, and medicine is to be established in City Park. The facilities for 
plant research thus created will enable scientists of local universities 
and private and public organizations to improve economic and horticul- 

1 62 

Economic and Social Development 

tural plants and devise new methods of combating insect pests and fungus 
diseases. The arboretum, in addition to its educational work, will also 
render valuable service to the community through the importation and 
cultivation of flora from foreign countries, especially from Central and 
South America. 


CREOLE cuisine is a combination of the French and Spanish influence 
the Spanish taste for strong seasoning of food combined with the French 
love for delicacies and it originated in Louisiana. The slaves of 
Louisiana had their share in refining the product, and likewise the Indians, 
who gathered roots and pungent herbs in the woods. 

Although several of the customs in regard to the serving of food passed 
with other customs as the city became more cosmopolitan, still today 
no Creole kitchen is complete without its iron pots, bay leaf, thyme, 
garlic, and cayenne pepper. Some of the restaurants of New Orleans 
are known the world over for their Creole cooking; yet you will be 
served just as fine a meal in a Creole home. 

If you have no faith in the potency of herbs and seasonings, don t try 
Creole cooking. Remember there is a difference between one bay leaf 
and two bay leaves; and the difference between one clove of garlic and 
two cloves of garlic is enough to disorganize a happy home. 

Some of the Creole dishes can be procured in the larger restaurants of 
other cities; others are still typical of New Orleans and can seldom be 
found elsewhere. Among these are wine or baba cake, a large porous 
cake dipped in claret or rum many of the older caterers would dip 
it in anisette; pie Saint-Honore, made with a puff paste and a vanilla, 
or striped vanilla and chocolate cream filling with little balls of puff 
paste on top; and daube glace, a highly seasoned, jellied meat. 

Louisiana has valuable natural resources which are a great asset in 
the preparation of food: partridge, snipe, quail, ducks, and rabbits; 
fresh and salt-water fish of every description; numerous fruits, the most 

1 64 Economic and Social Development 

outstanding being oranges and figs; many nuts, the most delicate being 
the pecan. 

The Creole dejeuner or breakfast was quite a feast. Black coffee would 
be taken the first thing in the morning. Then at nine o clock the dejeuner 
was served, consisting of several different meats and always grillades, 
grits, biscuits, and pain perdu (lost bread), more commonly known as 
French toast. 

The French Market was the scene of social gatherings on Sunday 
morning. Some of the Creole ladies (followed by their servant carrying 
the basket) and gentlemen would attend early mass at the St. Louis 
Cathedral and later buy the food for the day at the market. Others 
would attend later mass and afterwards take breakfast at the restaurant 
of Monsieur and Madame Begue on Decatur Street. This breakfast was 
served from eleven in the morning until three o clock in the afternoon, 
and consisted of several dishes, including Begue s famous preparation of 
liver and all the wine one could drink. In the afternoon practically 
everyone would attend the matinee at the French Opera House; at six 
o clock there was dinner, another huge meal. 

The Choctaw Indians were very friendly with the white men, and to 
them New Orleans is indebted for the file, which is used in one of the 
best-known Creole dishes gumbo. The file is made from dried 
sassafras leaves pounded to a powder. The Indians would come to the 
city from their settlements in Lacombe, Louisiana, three times a week. 
On weekdays they would sell their wares at the French Market and on 
Sunday the tribe would gather in front of the St. Louis Cathedral with 
an array of baskets, beads, pottery, and file; Negro women would like 
wise be there selling their colas tout chaud (hot rice cakes). 

Although the Creoles are lavish entertainers and can prepare a sump 
tuous meal which is a source of never-ending pleasure to the gourmet, 
they also follow the French trait of economy and were taught early in 
life the secret of a perfect blending of a quantity of well-cooked simple 
foods which are nourishing, but not a strain on the budget. An example 
of one of these simple meals consists of soup-en-famille, or vegetable 
soup as it is most commonly known. Boulli, a beef brisket, is cooked 
with the soup and served either hot or cold with a sauce made from oil, 
vinegar, horse-radish and Creole mustard; catsup may be added if de 
sired. Some of the vegetables from the soup are placed around the dish 
in which the boulli is served, as a garnish; a salad of lettuce or lettuce 
and tomatoes, French bread, and a bottle of claret are added. This is 
a very good, economical, and nourishing meal. 

Creole Cuisine 165 

Native Orleanians are fond of sea food, and will drive miles to partake 
of any well-seasoned dish of this delicacy. At West End, a park situated 
on Lake Pontchartrain, there are numerous stands which specialize in 
the serving of boiled crabs and shrimp. In warm weather tables are 
placed along the sea wall, and nothing is more enjoyable on a warm 
night, or after a swim in the lake, than to ride to one of these places for 
a feast. On certain nights (usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) 
many bars serve free crabs, shrimp, and crayfish with the purchase of a 
glass of beer or any other drink. 

The following is a list of New Orleans Cook Books: 

Cooking in the Old Days. Celestine Eustis. 

La Cuisine Creole. Believed to have been compiled by Lafcadio Hearn. 

The Old and New Cook Book. Mrs. Martha Pritchard Stanford. 

200 Years of New Orleans Cooking. Natalie V. Scott. 

Mirations and Miracles of Mandy. Natalie V. Scott. 

Gourmets Guide to New Orleans. Natalie V. Scott and Caroline Merrick 


The Creole Cook Book. The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La. 
Below are some Creole recipes written down exactly as given by local 
chefs and bartenders. 


(Antoine s Recipe) 

A great variety of firm fish should be served, such as red snapper, red 
fish, sheepshead, green trout, black fish, and the like. 

The heads should be used for a thorough boiling, in order to extract 
the essence. After straining the bouillon, same should be somewhat 
reduced by boiling. 

The fish should be cut in pieces, and properly smeared with virgin 
olive oil, then laid to pickle for some time with a seasoning of salt and 
pepper, fresh peppers, thyme, and bay leaves. 

After the bouillon of the heads has been reduced, pour in a large 
fish dish and boil therein hard shell crabs, crayfish, and lake shrimps, 
together with the pieces of fish aforementioned, taking care to add suffi 
cient first class French dry wine, such as Chateau de Cursan. 

Let the whole simmer down. 

Prepare, in a separate dish, on a slow fire, some shallots, a dash of 
garlic, and fresh peeled tomatoes cooked in virgin oil, and nicely reduced, 
in order to pour over the fish, as aforementioned (when same is cooked) 
to impart color and flavor. 

When almost ready to serve, pour over the whole a small quantity 

1 66 Economic and Social Development 

of saffron, which has been dissolved in a small amount of white wine 

A last simmer, and the bouillabaisse is ready to serve. 

Cut squares of stale bread and toast lightly cover same with a 
very light mixture of chopped chevril and pounded garlic. 

The toast should be served separately, to be placed in each individual 

Colas Tout Chaud 

(Hot Rice Cakes) 

i cup boiled rice $4 teaspoon nutmeg 
3 eggs i cup flour 

>2 cup sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 

y teaspoon salt 

Beat the eggs until thick; add sugar and other ingredients. Beat 
vigorously until thoroughly blended. Drop by teaspoon in deep hot fat. 
Fry until golden brown. Drain on heavy paper and sprinkle with powdered 
sugar and serve hot. 

These cakes are delicious, and when properly made they puff up and 
are extremely light. 


6 slices red fish i lemon sliced 

i coffee spoon allspice y* cup chopped celery 

1 pint can tomatoes i chopped green pepper 

2 tablespoons olive oil i onion 

3 sprigs each of parsley, 2 tablespoons flour 
thyme, and bay leaf i large glass claret 

3 pods garlic 

Salt and pepper to taste. .: 

Make a roux by browning flour and olive oil. Brown onion. Add 
tomatoes, seasonings, salt, pepper, and lemon. Let all simmer about 
half an hour in a large iron pot. Salt and pepper fish, add to sauce, 
being careful not to let the slices overlap. Cook until fish is done, about 
fifteen minutes. Before serving add claret. Serve on toast. 

Red snapper, which is smaller and tenderer than the red fish, is also 
delicious stuffed with an oyster dressing and baked with a tomato gravy. 
All Creoles have their fish set, which consists of a large platter and 
twelve plates, each having a different fish painted in the center. 

The most frequently served Creole entree is the red snapper, which is 
boiled or poached in a highly seasoned water, containing lemon, onion, 
celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. The fish is served cold 
in large pieces with mayonnaise to which capers have been added. 
The fish plates are garnished with lettuce, sliced tomatoes and celery 

Creole Cuisine 167 



Crabs can be found at all seasons in the markets. They must be 
purchased alive, and washed thoroughly. 

Into a pot of water put several stalks of celery, thyme, bay leaf, 
parsley, an onion, sliced lemon, salt, and cayenne pepper. If desired, 
allspice and a few blades of mace may be added. The water should be 
salted to a brine, as crabs require much salt and it cannot be added after 
cooking. When the water boils, add the live crabs and boil about twenty 
minutes, or until the shell turns a bright red. Let cool awhile in the 
seasoned water. Serve either hot or cold. 

Shrimp and crayfish are cooked in the same manner. In New Orleans 
there are two kinds of shrimp river and lake. The river shrimp is 
seasonable and more delicate in flavor, and is usually boiled and served 
on a bed of ice as an entree or as a salad. The lake shrimp is abundant all 
the year. It is larger and is used for cooking purposes, being served in 
various ways. 

(Soft Shell) 

This is considered one of the greatest delicacies. Unlike the hard crab, 
the shell and all is eaten. The soft-shell crabs can be found in the markets 
all year round. They are more plentiful in the summer months. 

Great care must be taken in cleaning the crab; it should be carefully 
washed in cold water, as boiling water ruins its fine flavor. The feathery 
substance under the side points must be taken off, also the eyes and the 
sand bag under the shell between the eyes. Dry in a towel after washing. 
The crabs may be dipped in flour or flour meal to which salt and pepper 
have been added. To obtain the best results in frying the crabs, dip them 
first in cracker meal, then in beaten egg, and again in the cracker meal. 
Fry in deep fat, drain on brown paper, and serve hot with tartar sauce. 

Crayfish Bisque 
(Madame Begue s Recipe) 

Choose about forty nice crayfish and let them have a good boiling. Re 
move from fire and drain. Clean the heads, keep thirty of the shells and 
also the remains which you will set to boil in a quart of water. Peel the 
tails and chop fine. Make a paste with the meat to which add a cupful of 
soaked bread, a large spoonful of chopped onions, two pods of garlic, 
chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. With this fill the thirty 
shells and set them aside. Start your soup by frying in butter an onion, 
some flour for thickening, and a cupful each of green onions and parsley 
chopped fine, a sprig of thyme, and two bay leaves. When brown pour 
in the bouillon made with the remains of the heads, and season with salt 
and strong pepper; let boil slowly for half an hour. Add more water if 
needed. When ready to serve take each head, roll it in flour, and fry all 
in butter until crisp all around and throw in the soup. Let boil three or 
four minutes. Serve with boiled rice. 

1 68 Economic and Social Development 

Daubv Glace 

3 pounds beef or veal round Parsley, thyme, bay leaf, 
(have the butcher lard the cloves, green pepper, red 
meat with pieces of fat) pepper, onion, celery, 

4 pig feet garlic and salt 
2 veal knuckles 

Soak the meat in vinegar over night. Next morning salt, pepper, and 
flour the meat. Put a kitchenspoonful of lard in a deep iron kettle. Put 
in meat, cover, and let cook on slow fire until it makes its own gravy. In 
another pan boil the pig feet and veal knuckles with two onions cut in 
quarters, celery, and parsley. Boil until meat comes from the bone. 
When daube is tender take it out of the pot and make the gravy. Slice 
an onion and cook until light brown, add a tablespoon of flour, and cook 
until flour is brown. Put daube back in the pot with the gravy and water 
in which the knuckles and pig feet were boiled, add the green pepper, 
thyme and bay leaf chopped fine, a handful of cloves, salt, and red pepper. 
Cook about two hours on a slow fire. If gravy becomes too thick, add a 
little warm water. When the small center bone is detached from the 
meat it is done. Chop the meat from the veal knuckles and pig feet fine 
and add to jelly. Put daube in a round bowl, pour the gravy over it. 
When cool put in refrigerator to jell. Next day unmold daube on a dish 
and garnish as desired. This is a delicious dish, and when sliced the meat 
is in the center of the jelly. If desired, some of the gravy may be strained, 
put into fancy molds, and served as a garnish. Chicken or turkey may be 
used in place of the veal. 


Veal rounds Flour 

i can tomatoes (or 6 fresh ones) Lard 
i onion, green pepper Parsley 

i clove garlic 

Salt and pepper to taste. 

A deep iron pot or skillet with a tight cover is necessary for making 
this dish. Cut the rounds in size appropriate for individual serving. Two 
rounds will make four ample servings. Make a roux by browning a table- 
spoonful of flour in a tablespoonful of lard. Add the finely cut onion, 
pepper and garlic, and the meat, which has been seasoned with salt and 
pepper. Let this cook on a slow fire until the meat is brown, and enough 
juice extracted from the meat to make a little gravy. Add the tomatoes 
and simmer on a slow fire until done (about two hours). After this has 
cooked an hour add a teacupful of hot water. 


% dozen hard-shell crabs 2 stalks celery 

1 pound shrimp i onion 

2 dozen oysters 2 pods garlic 

i green pepper Thyme, bay leaf, and 

Salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. 

Creole Cuisine 169 

Scald the crabs, clean, and cut in quarters. Make a roux by browning 
a kitchenspoonful of flour in the same amount of hot lard. Add the sliced 
onion and brown. Put in the crabs and shrimp, cover, and cook about 
fifteen minutes. Add the other seasonings, chopped, and two quarts of 
warm water. Cover and cook on a slow fire about two hours. Fifteen 
minutes before serving add the oysters and their liquor. Just before 
serving turn off the fire and add a tablespoon of file. Pour into a tureen 
and serve with boiled rice. Never cook the file, as it will become very 
stringy. Okra may be used in place of the file, but it is cooked with the 
gumbo. The basic recipe is the same, but chicken, veal, and ham or a 
combination of veal and a hambone can be substituted for the crabs and 
shrimp. After Thanksgiving and Christmas the left-over turkey may 
be made into a gumbo with oysters. A deep iron pot is preferable for 
making gumbo. 

Gombo Zhebes 
(Gumbo of Herbs) 

There is a legend that this gumbo should be cooked on Holy Thursday 
for good luck. Upon passing the French Market on this day, you will 
hear the vendors crying, Buy your seven greens for good luck! 

2 tablespoons lard 
2 tablespoons flour 
i bunch spinach, mustard greens, beet tops, turnip tops, outside 

leaves of Creole lettuce, green cabbage, green celery leaves, green 

onion tops or almost any combination of greens. 
Bacon strips, salt meat or a hambone. The hambone is preferable 

as it gives the best flavor. 
Chopped onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, green pepper, salt, pepper, 

red pepper pod. 

Wash the greens thoroughly and boil all together with sufficient water 
to cover. When tender take from fire, drain off water and save it. Make 
a roux by browning the flour in a deep pot with the lard. Add the onion 
and let brown. Fry the meat. While this is cooking chop the greens and 
other seasonings thoroughly. Add the greens, and fry for a few minutes, 
stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the water in which the greens 
were boiled. Simmer in a covered pot about two hours. If it should get 
too thick add a little boiling water. Serve with boiled rice. 

Hollandaise Sauce Supreme 

(For fish) 

Take the yolks of two eggs and beat. Drip one half pound of melted 
butter (like mayonnaise) in a double boiler or on a slow fire until thick. 
Add the juice of one lemon, twelve shrimp, one half can of mushrooms, 
two truffles cut in slices, and a little water from the fish. Take off the fire 
and serve over the fish. 

170 Economic and Social Development 

Jambalaya au Congri 
This is a very popular dish and is more generally called Congri. 

i cup rice i pint cowpeas 

i large onion i square inch ham 

^2 pound salt meat 

Wash the salt meat and chop; cut ham into small pieces. Boil the 
cowpeas, salt meat and ham together. Boil the rice. After the peas and 
rice are cooked pour the rice into the pot of peas, which must not be dry 
but very moist. Mix well, let all simmer for five minutes, and serve hot. 

Jambalaya a la Creole 

i pound chorices (pork sausage) 2 pods garlic 
i slice ham i onion (chopped) 

i l /2 cups rice 2 sprigs parsley, thyme, 

i can tomatoes (small) and bay leaf (finely chopped) 

Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. 

Wash rice thoroughly. Brown the ham, cut in small pieces, and fry the 
chorices in a little lard. Drain off the lard which accumulates from frying 
the meat, leaving only a tablespoonful. Brown onion and other season 
ings; add tomatoes. Let cook a few minutes. Pour over the rice and mix 
thoroughly. Place in a heavy pot, cover, and cook until gravy is absorbed 
and rice is soft and dry. 

The meat may be omitted, and the Jambalaya made with shrimp or 
oysters, the basic recipe being the same. 

Oyster Rockefeller 
(Galatoire s Recipe) 

For serving six people, one-half dozen oysters each. One bunch of 
parsley and one bunch of green lettuce. Chop all together with one pound 
of butter and one handful of fine bread crumbs. To thicken add to mix 
ture three tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, one spoonful anchovy 
sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper, also a few drops of tabasco 
sauce. To this add two ounces of absinthe. Mix all together. Pour this 
sauce over oysters that are on the half shell and are set on a bed of rock 
salt in a pie pan (this is to keep the oysters hot) . Sprinkle with grated 
Parmesan cheese and fine bread crumbs. Bake until brown. Serve hot. 

Pecan Pralines 

2 cups sugar 2 cups milk or cream 

i cup molasses i tablespoon butter 

2 cups pecans 

Combine above ingredients, except nuts, and cook, stirring constantly 
until a soft ball forms when dropped in cold water. Remove from fire, 

Creole Cuisine 171 

beat until creamy, add pecans, and drop by spoonful on a greased marble 
slab or greased porcelain-top table. 

Pralines can also be made of equal portions of brown sugar, pecans, 
and a lump of butter. Moisten the sugar with a little water; cook until 
sugar melts to a thick syrup, add pecans; remove from fire and beat until 
creamy. Proceed as above. 

Pompano En Papillotes 
(La Louisiane Recipe) 

Pompano is considered one of the best fish, since it is peculiar to the 
waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Sound, and the Louisiana Grand 
Isle. The flounder is another fine fish. It is sometimes called sole. 

Cut the pompano in filet five ounces each, parboil or saute about five 
minutes. Sauce; saute in one spoonful of butter, four chopped green 
onions, chopped mushrooms, two truffles, two ounces of white wine, add 
one spoon of flour, and one pint of fish stock, and boil ten minutes. Season 
to taste. Add to the above sauce three ounces of crabmeat, saute with a 
dash of white wine and a yolk of an egg. Pour the crabmeat in the fold 
of the filet and pour sauce over it. Fold it in a heart-shaped paper bag 
and bake in a hot oven ten minutes. Serve in the bag. 

Red Beans 

Red beans are to New Orleans what the white bean is to Boston and 
the cowpea is to South Carolina. 

This is a very nutritious and economical dish and is one of the most 
popular of all Creole cuisine. Red beans are always served with a dish of 
boiled rice. Until a few years ago, when New Orleans was not so com 
mercialized, you could purchase a * quartee beans, qnartee rice and a little 
lagniappe to make it nice. Quartee means a half a nickel and lagniappe 
was a gift given with a purchase, seasoning of some sort, for instance. 

The red beans are soaked in water until the skins shrivel. Pour off the 
water and put in a deep pot. Cover with water, add chopped parsley, an 
onion and green onions, a tablespoon of lard, salt and pepper, a slice of 
meat, ham or several strips of bacon. Cook for several hours on a slow 
fire until thick and creamy. 


When wood stoves were in use the old Creole method for cooking rice 
was to use an iron pot and a very low fire, adding just enough salted 
water to cover the rice. This was cooked for several hours, untfl the rice 
was done and every grain separate. 

The modern way is as follows: Wash rice thoroughly and cook in 
rapidly boiling salted water until tender. Do not stir. Drain in colander, 
letting cold water run through it thoroughly. Place the colander with 
the rice over boiling water, cover, and steam until every grain flakes or 
stands apart. 

172 Economic and Social Development 

Shrimp Salad with Arnaud s Shrimp Salad Dressing 
The ingredients, mixed well, chilled and served on cold boiled shrimp; 
about twelve to a portion, enthroned on crisp chopped lettuce, will satisfy 
four persons who know how to begin a luncheon or supper. 

6 tablespoons oil y teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons vinegar 4 tablespoons Creole mustard 

i tablespoon paprika j heart of celery, chopped fine 

y 2 teaspoon white pepper >^ white onion chopped fine 
A little chopped parsley 

Trout Marguery 
(Galatoire s Recipe) 

Clean the trout of skin and bone. Cut into filets tenderloin and roll 
them. Put three tablespoons of butter in the pan with the fish and season 
with salt and pepper. Add one-half glass of water and bake in a hot oven. 
When cooked dress on platter. Serve Hollandaise sauce supreme over 
the fish. (See above.) 



Chill a tumbler, then fill one-third with finely cracked (not crushed) 
ice. Drip one ounce of absinthe from absinthe dripper or from a spoon, 
stirring rapidly. When the absinthe and melting ice have produced a 
heavily clouded mixture, remove spoon and serve; or the absinthe may be 
strained off into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Cafe Brulot 

1 cup French brandy (cognac) 2 handfuls cloves 

2 lumps sugar per cup of coffee 2 sticks cinnamon 
% orange rind sliced thin broken to bits 
% lemon rind sliced thin i quart coffee 


Into the brulot bowl (which is a metal bowl with a tray) put the spices, 
peel, brandy, and sugar. Pour some alcohol in the tray under the bowl 
and ignite it. Stir the contents of the bowl and it will ignite. Let it burn 
a few minutes, so it will not destroy the alcohol. Pour in the coffee. Serve 
in coffee cup. 

This is very effective if the lights are turned out and the shadows al 
lowed to play on the faces of the guests. 

Creole Cuisine 173 

Creole Co/ee 

Creole coffee is a mixture of pure coffee and about twenty per cent 

Use a heaping tablespoon of coffee to every cup. The water should be 
boiling, as the Negroes say, at a rollin jumpin boil. Drip a very little 
at a time, about an after-dinner coffee cup, over the coffee. Creoles do 
not like cream in their coffee, preferring hot milk; cafe au lait is about half 
coffee and half hot milk. 

Petit Bride 

Take an ordinary size thick-skinned orange; cut through the peel en 
tirely around the orange like the line of the equator, then force off the 
peel by passing the handle of the spoon between it and the pulp. Into the 
cup thus formed put two lumps of sugar and some cinnamon, and fill with 
fine French brandy (cognac) and ignite for a few minutes. The brule will 
be found to have a pleasant flavor given it by the orange. This recipe is 
from La Cuisine Creole, compiled by Lafcadio Hearn. 

Planters Punch 

Juice y lemon Equal parts Jamaica rum 

A dash grenadine syrup and rye whisky 
Cracked ice Sugar 

The finest granulated sugar (almost powdered) must be used for this 
drink. Mix the above ingredients and stir thoroughly do not shake. 
Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry. Put a float of red wine on top 
and serve. 

Ramos Gin Fizz 

i teaspoon powdered sugar i egg white 
i jigger gin 5 or 6 dashes orange 

Juice ]/2 lemon and }/?. lime flower water 

i ounce sweet cream 

Shake vigorously with cracked ice until mixture is foamy and ice cold. 
Strain and serve in eight-ounce glass. Fill up with soda water. 

Sazerac Cocktail 

The formula for this drink is privately owned. It is bottled in New 
Orleans, and sold throughout the country. The ingredients are as follows: 

i jigger Bourbon whisky i lump sugar 
^2 jigger vermouth i dash bitters 

i dash orange bitters absinthe 

Put a small amount of absinthe in a cocktail glass used for old-fash 
ioned cocktail, stir until it touches all parts of the glass, then throw the 
absinthe out. In another glass mix the other ingredients with cracked ice. 
Pour into first glass, stir well, rub rim of glass with lemon peel, and serve. 


Social Calendar 

BEGINNING late in December and interspersed with the customary 
breakfast-dances, luncheon-dances, supper-dances, cocktail parties, and 
receptions, the following special events of the Carnival season exclusive 
of operas, ballets, concerts, etc., ended with Mardi Gras Day, February 
9, 1937. The calendar is typical of all carnival seasons. For the current 
year see the daily papers. 


29, Tuesday. Ball of Harlequins. 

30, Wednesday. Ball of Les Pierrettes. 

2, Saturday. Ball of Olympians. 

6, Wednesday. Ball of Twelfth Night Revelers. 

8, Friday. Ball of Caliph of Cairo. 

9, Saturday. Ball of Bards of Bohemia. 

13, Wednesday. Ball of the Krewe of Hypathians. 

14, Thursday. Ball of the Krewe of Nereus. 

15, Friday. Ball of the Krewe of Eros. 

1 6, Saturday. Ball of Osiris. 

22, Friday. Ball of the Krewe of Aparomest. 

23, Saturday. Ball of Athenians. 

27, Wednesday. Ball of the Krewe of Iridis. 

28, Thursday. Ball of Mithras. 

29, Friday. Ball of Marionettes. 

30, Saturday. Ball of Prophets of Persia. 


1, Monday. Ball of Oberon. 

2, Tuesday. Ball of Atlanteans. 

3, Wednesday. Ball of the Krewe of Mystery. 

4, Thursday. Parade and Ball of the Krewe of Momus. 

5, Friday. Parade and Ball of the Krewe of Hermes; Ball of the Krewe 
of Apollo; Ball of the New Orleans Country Club. 

6, Saturday. Children s Parade (Krewe of Nor) ; Ball of the Mystic 

The Carnival 175 

7, Sunday. Parade and Ball of the Mid-City Carnival Club. 

8, Monday. Algiers Water Pageant (Krewe of Alia) ; Parade and Ball 
of the Krewe of Proteus. 

9, Tuesday. Mardi Gras street masking; parades of Zulu King, 
Rex, and Krewe of Orleans; neighborhood parades largest in Car- 
rollton Section; night parade of the Mystic Krewe of Comus; balls 
of Comus, Rex, Druids, and Zulu. 

The Carnival 

Derived from Latin and medieval Latin forms meaning the putting 
away of flesh (meat), Carnival is an offspring of the Lupercalian, Satur- 
nalian, and Bacchanalian festivals of Rome in pre-Christian times. To 
determine the day of Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) one must 
first know the date of Easter Sunday for the year; then count back forty 
days, omitting Sundays, to the day before the beginning of Lent. 

Mardi Gras has been known to Louisiana since the year 1699, when 
Iberville took possession of the country. He remembered, as he made 
his way up the Mississippi on Shrove Tuesday of that year, that Mardi 
Gras was being celebrated in France, and he appropriately bestowed 
the name to a spot twelve miles from the river s mouth. The first Carnival 
demonstrations in the South were held in Mobile. The Cowbellian de 
Rakin Society, who paraded on New Year s Eve, developed the method 
of a parade of floats depicting some given theme. 

Masked balls and street masking of a sort became features of the 
Mardi Gras celebration early in Colonial times. They were continued 
under the Spanish until the governors felt called upon to suppress street 
masking because of the rowdyism which the flatboatmen and the free 
people of color began to inject into it. Masked balls continued until 
1805-06, when the City Council suppressed them because of the Burr 
plot and the resulting general unrest. As times improved masquerade 
balls were resumed in 1823 and authorized by law in 1827. Street mask 
ing again came into vogue about 1835, and the newspapers describe a 
Mardi Gras parade for the first time in 1838. There may have been 
parades earlier, but after that date the celebrations became regular 
events. In 1866 Mobile gave her first demonstration on Mardi Gras 
day, thus adopting the New Orleans date of celebration, as New Orleans 
had adopted her style of parades. 

Features of the various Carnivals of Europe may be seen in the season in 
New Orleans. In Paris there are six gay weeks of masked and fancy balls. 
In Rome, for eleven days, from two o clock in the afternoon until dark 
of each day, happy maskers throng the streets, and throw bouquets and 

1 76 Economic and Social Development 

sugar plums to the watchers on the balconies. The balconies are decorated 
in brilliantly colored cotton cloth, and if a house has no balcony, one is 
built for the Carnival season. In Venice, the poor save all winter that 
they may wear fine costumes, mask, and appropriately welcome their 
monarch, who arrives in a gondola, and remains for a merry Carnival 
rule of several days. In Spain, people mask and do all sorts of foolish 
things; there are great dignified parades, and large and small balls. In New 
Orleans, Carnival is the voice of a people determined to be gay always. 

Southern art, music, and literature have been enriched by a century 
of Carnival. Pageantry, costuming, dancing, stage effects, and lighting 
have likewise been influenced. 

Carnival is sponsored by social and secret organizations. Each club 
has a Captain, a prominent person, and one with innumerable Carnival 
responsibilities. He receives no financial remuneration; his one reward is 
a job well done, and the renewal of his captaincy. 

Next to the Captain in importance is the designing artist. He plans 
the floats, the costumes of the maskers on the floats, the tableaux or 
setting for the balls, the invitations, the dance programs, and the souve 
nirs at the balls. Themes for the parades or balls have an historical, 
legendary, or mythological basis. Approval of a theme depends upon its 
adaptability to color, romance, and illusion. The artist designs plates 
for each float, drawing them to scale and indicating the placement of 
the maskers. 

When the artist s plates are finished they are submitted to the builders. 
Often an artist s designs cannot be transferred to canvas, papier-mache, 
satin, and gauze with complete effectiveness. The result may be entirely 
different from the one intended, despite the worker s sincere attempt to 
reproduce the fantasy in lumber, cloth, paint, paste, and gilt. In design 
ing floats, proportion and perspective are distorted. The floats are 
built on wheeled flat carts about twenty feet long and eight feet wide. 
The floats can measure no more than twenty-four feet in length and nine 
feet in width, in order that corners may be turned with ease; and only 
eighteen feet in height, because of telegraph and telephone wires. Space 
for the men on the floats must be taken into consideration, and so, with 
these limitations, the figures are made grotesque in order to achieve an 
illusion of hugeness. 

The platforms are of heavy timber, and are metal-braced where the 
maskers stand. Iron rods are also placed at the maskers stations for 
their support. Models of the floats are made of clay, from which plaster 
molds are cast. The papier-mache covering is made by pressing a paper 

The Carnival 177 

pulp and glue mixture into the molds. When dried hard these molds 
are lifted out and set aside for the carpenter. A wooden framework of 
columns, animals, or figures is put on the platforms, and foundations 
forming the mass of the float are stuffed into shape with excelsior and 
covered with light canvas. The papier-mache and the fragile, quivering, 
lovely devices that shake and give the floats their living appearance are 
then fitted into place. 

In setting off the brilliant coloring of the floats an ingenious device is 
employed. In the day parades the gold and silver leaf used in trimming 
the floats is applied in such a manner that the rays of the sun are caught 
and deflected upon the ornamental platform, while at night the leaf is 
pointed downward to take advantage of the glare of the torches. The 
coloring used in the daytime is more subdued; at night, more intense, 
in keeping with coloring used with artificial light. 

Soulie and Crassons and John H. Deutschmann and Sons build all the 
floats. Their work is done in secluded dens, old cotton warehouses on 
Calliope Street near South Claiborne Avenue. It is a location which few 
people know, and even fewer ever see. A special permit from the manager 
of the organization is necessary for a visit. Work on the floats begins 
in April, and thirty to fifty men are employed. Dates of progress must 
be set and adhered to without exception. If work is not on schedule, 
more men are employed. An organization giving both a parade and a 
ball spends between $20,000 and $35,000, all expense being absorbed by 
the dues of the members. The night parades, which are more expensive, 
employ about 885 people 525 Negroes to carry the lights, an average 
of 40 men to carry the signs for the floats, 40 men to lead the mules, 200 
to 250 musicians, and mounted and motorcycle police. Parades usually 
cost about $15,000 now that the organizations have many accumulated 
properties. The same pageantry given for the first time would cost 
nearly $60,000. 

The parade program opens on Thursday night preceding Mardi Gras 
with the procession of the Krewe of the Knights of Momus, organized in 
1872. The Krewe of Hermes, an organization which held its first parade 
and ball in 1937, parades on Friday night. 

The night parades begin at seven o clock. All parades, except that of 
Hermes, which forms at Washington and St. Charles Avenues, start at 
St. Charles Avenue and Calliope Street. Generally, the processions 
inarch up the lakeside of St. Charles Avenue to Washington Avenue, 
down the riverside of St. Charles, past Lee Circle to Canal Street, where 
they parade on both sides of the neutral ground, some going down North 

178 Economic and Social Development 

Rampart Street, and others down Royal and Orleans Street to the 
Auditorium (consult daily newspapers for parade routes). Here the 
ranks are broken, the maskers disembark to attend the ball, and the 
floats are returned to the dens. 

Parades may be viewed from the street, balconies, windows of homes 
and business houses, or from specially constructed tiers a story or so 
high. Each view has its advantage, but to mingle with the joyous crowd 
of the street is to feel the real spirit of the Carnival. Many await the 
parade on St. Charles and Canal Streets, for it is on these streets that 
the kings meet their queens: Momus and Comus at the Louisiana Club, 
636 Gravier Street; Hermes at the City Hall, 543 St. Charles Street; 
Proteus at the Boston Club, 824 Canal Street. Although the varicolored 
lights of Canal Street give the parade a certain splendor, St. Charles 
Avenue is the better place to see a night parade. The avenue, with its 
beautiful homes and wide neutral ground, is not so highly lighted as 
Canal, and stars overhead wink back to the twinkling lights. Red-robed 
Negroes carry gasoline torches, calcium burners, and star-sparkling flares. 

Soon after noon, when there is a night parade, pop stands, hot dog 
counters, peanut wagons, cotton candy sheds, and souvenir boards 
sprout up along the streets like mushrooms after a spring rain. Cars, 
whose tops will be used as reviewing stands, are parked on the side 
streets near St. Charles Avenue. At five o clock spectators begin to 
appear, and the crowd thickens so fast that one must walk in the streets. 
On the night of the parade all traffic along the way is rerouted to prevent 
interference. Children form human chains to whip through the crowd, 
and there is much laughter and noise. 

Suddenly a glow spreads in the sky, and there is a rumbling sound as 
a squad of motorcycle policemen approaches. You back out of the 
street to the sidewalk. You press closer and closer to the people already 
there. The thundering motorcycles pass, only to give place to mounted 
policemen four abreast, who are determined to clear a passageway. 
The horses hoofs terrify and succeed in their purpose; you are well out 
of the street by now. 

Following the mounted policemen come the public utility truck, 
organization repair truck, the Marshal of the parade, and the Captain 
with his eight aides. The Captain is masked and costumed as a knight. 
His glowing velvet cape is draped over the back of his horse; and while 
the horse prances, the plumes in the knight s helmet nod and flutter as 
he attends to the task of keeping all in order. 

Most parades consist of twenty floats: one title car, the King s float, 

The Carnival 179 

and eighteen floats interpreting the theme. Two Negroes carry mounted 
title cards announcing the subject of each float. Beside the floats danc 
ing Negroes carry torches. Between floats march the bands, usually 
fourteen in all, and more Negroes with flares and torches. 

The King s float moves slowly as he waves his scepter and bows to his 
gathered subjects. The title float passes; everyone reads aloud and 
wonders if the designs will be recognizable. Then the first float of 
maskers. Hands wave and clap; people jump up and down, and everyone 
cries for the trinkets that the maskers carry in little bags or in their 
hands, shouting Mister, throw me something! The trinkets are small; 
they are cheap ; you can buy a dozen for a penny or so, but a string 
of beads flies into the crowd, and the people go mad as they snatch for it. 
It is a belief in New Orleans that it is lucky to catch favors from passing 
floats. The maskers hold tight with one hand to the supporting iron 
pole; with the other hand they throw gaudy necklaces and toss kisses 
from the mouths of their grotesque masks. They pivot on their toes; 
they kick their heels high; but don t be bewitched by the women on 
the floats; all maskers are men, without exception. 

At the municipal auditorium the maskers descend, and go inside to 
begin their ball. 

On the Saturday before Mardi Gras, since 1934, the school children s 
parade has begun at noon. The idea of a children s parade originated 
with the Association of Commerce, and local business and professional 
men became interested. Each of these men, numbering about 150, con 
tributes ten dollars a year toward the expense of the project. The various 
public and parochial schools of the city apply for admission into the 
Krewe of Nor (New Orleans Romance), and membership is limited to 
approximately fifty. Business organizations furnish the rolling equip 
ment for the floats; but the floats themselves are built in the school 
basements by the manual-training departments, assisted by the history, 
geography, and sewing classes. The cost of each float is not in excess of 
twenty-five dollars, the money being supplied by the Mothers Club of 
every school. Each school is represented by one float, and a king and 
queen are alternately chosen, one from a public school and one from a 
parochial school. Early in January the names of the children who have 
won honors for scholarship, conduct, popularity, and personality are 
listed by the school heads. These names are put in a wheel at the City 
Hall, and the two names drawn. The same secrecy prevails in the chil 
dren s Carnival as in the large organizations; the identity of the King 
and Queen of Nor is not known until the day of the parade. 

i8o Economic and Social Development 

The children s floats, though not as fanciful as those in the regular 
parades, are clever in their realism. 

The first parade of Nor, in 1934, had as its theme The History of New 
Orleans, the second parade, in 1935, Streets of New Orleans, the third 
parade, in 1936, Le Vieux Carre, and the fourth, in 1937, What New 
Orleans Makes. Some two hundred children take part in the parade, 
and about twenty school bands furnish music. The children are directed 
in the roles they play by Charles H. Hamilton, representative of Rex. 

Costumed boys draw the floats, and princes in white and yellow 
satin precede the floats on Shetland ponies. None of the children wear 
masks. First-aid stations are set up along the route, and doctors, nurses, 
and Boy Scout messengers are waiting to ensure protection against 

The King goes to the City Hall, where he receives a bouquet of flowers, 
and the Mayor and Nor drink to each other (on cold days hot chocolate; 
on mild, raspberry lemonade). Nor meets his Queen and her court on 
Canal Street. As Nor approaches, the Queen arises and waves her scepter. 
Nor stands, bows, and they drink to each other s health. The Queen 
greets her King: Sire, the Royal Household of Nor is assembled to greet 
you on your visit to the city. Never have I witnessed such an outpouring 
of the masses. And the King solemnly answers: I feel deeply the homage 
given by the grown-ups. The Queen has the royal jewels of the Kingdom 
of Nor, and she wears an expensive mantle. Her maids are dressed in 
taffeta with bouffant skirts, and carry flowers. The ball of the Krewe 
of Nor is held that evening. 

On the Monday afternoon before Mardi Gras, Algiers, that part of 
New Orleans directly across the river from Canal Street, gives its Carnival 
parade. The parade is an unusual procession of water floats ascending 
the Mississippi River. Countless small craft ply the water carrying the 
King s loyal subjects. The river is filled with shrill and guttural boat 
whistles proclaiming the royal presence. 

The Krewe of Proteus, a god of the sea and close friend of Neptune, 
was organized in 1882, and parades on Monday night preceding Mardi 

As you awake the morning after the Proteus parade you are conscious 
of something different in the air. It is Mardi Gras, and already the streets 
are swarming with people, but with people who have undergone a great 
change and have cast aside their everyday, prosaic selves. For on Mardi 
Gras every man may be a king for a day or, if he prefers, a tramp or a 
clown or an Indian chief. In ever-changing groups the maskers make 

The Carnival 181 

their way through the throngs of spectators who line the streets on the 
route of the parades. Dutch boys, Gypsy girls, Spanish caballeros, hula 
dancers, country bumpkins, artists, pirates, sailors, devils, French 
maids, old-fashioned ladies, Russian peasants, and Chinese coolies eat, 
drink, and are merry. The shrill cries of delighted children are almost 
drowned by the cries of their equally delighted elders. Maskers in the 
earlier carnivals generally wore animal costumes with tremendous heads 
that wobbled and grinned at everything in the manner of maskers cos 
tumes in Chinese celebrations. But these have almost entirely disap 
peared, and their places have been taken by comic-strip characters, movie 
stars, and men and women whose clothes are completely covered with 
buttons or playing cards or peanuts or vegetables. In commercial sec 
tions throughout the city there are reviewing stands at which the best 
dancers and the wearers of the most original or most beautiful costumes 
are awarded prizes. 

Beginning early Mardi Gras morning, various clubs of the city, of 
which the Jefferson City Buzzards is the oldest and perhaps the best 
known, hold small costumed walking parades all over town. The 
streets are lined with trucks that have been decorated, with all maskers 
aboard in appropriate costumes. Almost all the trucks carry a good jazz 
band and a keg of something or other. With special permits from the 
Mayor, these trucks fall in line after the Rex parade. Some reviewing 
stands also give prizes for the best ornamented trucks. 

At ten o clock Mardi Gras morning, with the coming of Zulu, King of 
the Africans, a burlesque of Rex, one enjoys the heartiest laugh of the 
day. King Zulu arrives, presumably from the sweltering black land, on 
a decorated yacht steaming through the New Basin Canal. (For place 
and time of arrival see daily papers.) In early days the King wore a grass 
skirt, with tufts of dried grass at his throat, wrists, and ankles. His body 
was incased in black tights, on which were painted stripes of red and green. 
His face was further blackened, and was decorated with green and red 
circles and lines. His throne was a Morris chair, his headdress a tin 
crown, and his scepter was a broomstick with a stuffed white rooster atop. 
The throne was shaded by a sacking canopy, and the float was decorated 
with bedraggled palm and palmetto leaves, paper flowers, and red and 
purple flags. Painted warriors stood in attendance. 

When Zulu first began his annual one-day reign, only two floats 
awaited him on shore. The floats were quite bare; there was not even a 
throne. The matter was settled simply by transferring the Morris chair 
and the other decorations of the barge, including the warriors, to the float. 

1 82 Economic and Social Development 

The float second in the parade was occupied by a cook, a basket of fish, 
and a cooking stove. The fish-fry float was for the feeding of subjects 
along the route. The King s henchmen, and high Negro officials in full 
dress with red and purple scarves draped from shoulder to waist, made 
up the remainder of the parade. 

The King of the Zulus still wears a grass skirt, but a rabbit skin vest 
and a gold crown have been added. His henchmen are dressed in bright 
blue police uniforms with huge badges. His parade has several floats, 
all parts of the home-town jungle. King Zulu now has a Queen, always a 
beauty, who awaits her monarch on the balcony of a sumptuous under 
taking parlor on Jackson Avenue near Dryades Street (Jackson street 
car, Canal and Baronne). The King drinks to his Queen in champagne, 
and beer and sandwiches are served. The parade is routed down South 
Rampart Street to Tulane Avenue; along Saratoga Street, and up Jack 
son Avenue. Zulu and his jungle beasts gaily toss autographed coco 
nuts to a chosen few along the line of march. The climax of the day is a 
large ball at which the city s best Negro bands play as long as anybody 
has rhythm. 

At eleven o clock, at the corner of Calliope Street and St. Charles 
Avenue, the parade of Rex, King of Carnival and Lord of Misrule, starts. 
His father was old King Cole, his mother Terpsichore, his home on Mount 
Olympus over the Vale of Tempe in the classic realm of Greece. Rex made 
his first appearance in 1872 for the entertainment of Duke Alexis Roman 
off Alexandrovitch. The royal anthem of Rex, If Ever I Cease to Love, 
was first used because it was a favorite of Duke Alexis. In former years, 
Rex arrived on the Monday preceding Mardi Gras in a river pageant. 

Rex is supported by two co-operative associations working under the 
charter designation of the School of Design. One of these associations, 
secret in character, is known as the Royal Host, all of whose members 
have close relations with the King and bear the honorable title of Duke. 
The other association, also secret, is known as the Carnival Court, and 
consists of young men who mask and man the floats. The organization is 
supported by membership dues, and a few subscriptions from various 
business men who benefit by the tourist trade. Rex chose as his motto 
Pro Bono Publico, and in 1872 he first used the accepted Carnival 
colors: green, gold, and purple. 

Rex rides out at the head of his parade, unmasked, gracious, and grand. 
His make-up is so theatrical as to make him unrecognizable. However, 
his identity is revealed in that day s newspapers. The King s mantle 
cascades down the back of the float, and two golden-curled page boys 









9 &.* 





> I 


The Carnival 183 

stand at the foot of the throne. The floats follow one after the other 
like giant frosted cakes, the sunlight reflecting in the tinsel. 

Usually the parade goes to Louisiana Avenue before turning. Within 
this limit, Rex stops on St. Charles Avenue at the homes of his former 
queens, and drinks a toast. On St. Charles Street near Canal, Rex stops 
at the City Hall to receive the keys of the city. At the Boston Club on 
Canal Street, the Queen of Carnival and her court wait in afternoon 
dress. Rex pauses to greet his Queen, give her flowers, and drink cham 
pagne. Casting his glass to the pavement below, he then proceeds. 

Like the tail of a blazing kite follow the decorated trucks and colorful 
maskers after the floats of Rex. During the afternoon many parades 
are given by the business concerns of various neighborhoods. The larg 
est among these is routed in the Carrollton section. The parade, which 
consists of several floats, as well as walking clubs and maskers, starts 
about two o clock, and marches only in the vicinity of Carrollton Avenue. 

The maskers continue in their revelry until sunset. At six o clock all 
masks must be removed. 

The parade of Comus, founded in 1857, and the oldest Carnival organ 
ization in the city, begins at seven o clock. Comus, god of festive joy 
and mirth, is reputed the richest king of Carnival; his parade is always a 
highlight of the season, and a beautiful closing of Mardi Gras. 

The designers of Comus seem always to use some new art in the deco 
ration of floats. Comus parades seem to have more of the fluttering, 
moving things. Flowers and the like are not flattened, but are able to 
nod their heads and wave as the wagons roll. In the 1936 parade a sort 
of shimmering cellophane was used to great advantage. 

The King of Comus carries a golden goblet from which he drinks a 
toast to his Queen, who awaits him at the Louisiana Club on St. Charles 
Street near Canal. In former years the Queen waited at the Pickwick 
Club, when its home w r as on Canal Street. Comus leads his parade into 
Canal Street, pausing to greet the King and Queen of Rex, who are at 
the Boston Club in royal costume. Originally the parades marched in the 
Vieux Carre, but for many years the section was not included in the 
routes. In 1937, however, Comus and several other parades passed 
down Royal and Orleans Streets to the municipal auditorium on Xorth 

The majestic procession of a Carnival parade through the old French 
Quarter is a charming scene. Narrow balconies are arrayed in balloons 
and lanterns, and confetti and serpentine flow from high casement win 
dows. The narrow streets and dim lights of the old section seem to recall 
all the glamour and witchery of the first carnivals. 

184 Economic and Social Development 

The Comus ball starts immediately after the parade, and together 
with Rex brings the wonderful weeks of Carnival to a close. The Carnival 
balls of New Orleans are the culmination of the city s social life, especially 
to the short whirl of a debutante s season. 

The balls originated as a private homage to the fair; the season s 
debutantes usually comprise the court. Because the balls were so beauti 
ful, so different, and so complete, visitors began to come from far and 
wide to see the Carnival balls of New Orleans. But they have met with 
disappointment, since they cannot always see the very things for which 
they come. Invitations are issued for all balls, but are hard to secure 
from the larger and older societies unless one has a particular friend or 
relative in the organization. 

One reason for creating Rex and Hermes was to help relieve this dis 
appointment. It is possible to receive invitations to these balls through 
the Association of Commerce. However, the number issued to strangers 
is limited, because of inadequate ballroom space. The call-out section 
is a prepared seating arrangement for those who partake in the dancing 
of the regular Carnival balls. At a few of the balls women mask and call 
out the men, selecting the King and his court of dukes. 

The original Carnival balls were more elaborate than now. As much 
time was given to preparing stage sets and tableaux for the balls as for 
the street parades. During the first carnivals the papier-mache of the 
floats, costumes, royal garments, jewels, and invitations were made in 
Europe. Gradually this has been changed, and now only the royal 
jewels are made in France. Although these jewels are only imitations, 
American workmen have been unable to secure the same perfection as 
the French artisans. Invitations, once gorgeously designed, carried a 
separate card of admittance, but now invitation and card of admission 
are usually combined and taken up at the door. A simple invitation 
entitles one only to a spectator s post in the balcony. Those selected 
for the call-out section receive separate invitations by mail. 

The Carnival balls present a glittering spectacle of beautiful women 
beautifully gowned. Most of the court gowns are made in New Orleans. 
One of the most magnificent queens costumes made in this city was 
worn by the Queen of Comus in the Golden Jubilee of 1924. The Queen 
wore gloves dipped in fourteen-karat gold. Her mantle, measuring six 
and one-half yards in length, was topped by a winged collar of gold net 
entirely embroidered in Strassburg rhinestones. The center of the 
mantle, running lengthwise, was of gold net embroidered in tiny tubes 
and rhinestones to represent a trellis. The border was woven of gold 

The Carnival 185 

metallic cloth with huge grapes of pearls, relieved by leaves of silver 
cloth, embroidered in rhinestones. The mantle was later used as an altar 
cloth at the wedding of the Comus Queen, and is now on display at the 
Cabildo museum. 

The Twelfth Night Revelers, organized in 1870, were the first to have 
a queen and maids, and their manner of selecting the court has continued 
through the years in its pleasing originality. A large cake of papier- 
mache is brought on to the floor during the first call-out dance, and the 
debutantes file by the cake to receive the small white boxes taken from 
its filling. One of these boxes, which are distributed by masked cooks/ 
contains a gold bean, the others a silver one. The maiden receiving the 
golden bean becomes Queen, and the young ladies receiving silver beans 
become her maids. The selection is supposedly left to chance, and it is 
true that the debutantes do not know beforehand whether they will 
be lucky or not. All debutantes In the call-out section are requested to 
wear white, preferably their debut dresses, and in this way are prepared 
for any honor they may or may not be given. The Twelfth Night Revelers 
is the only organization to employ this method of selecting a Carnival 
court. In other organizations the regal courts are requested, many 
months previous, to accept the various appointments. 

As the accompanying social calendar reveals, there are innumerable 
and beautiful balls given during the season. All have their king and 
queen, their maskers, their call-outs, and their feature tableaux, or a 
setting on some definite theme. All such balls require invitations, of 
which a limited number are allowed each member, and those attending 
must wear full dress. 

As has already been stated, there is less difficulty in securing an 
invitation to the Rex ball, but it is not the best example of a Carnival 
ball. Only Rex, his Queen, and her maids are in regal costume. There is 
no call-out section, and after the third dance by the nobility everyone 
is privileged to go on the floor. At eleven o clock Rex and his court 
go to join Comus. As they enter, the Comus band strikes up If Ever 
I Cease to Love ; Comus escorts the Queen of Rex, Rex accompanies 
the Comus Queen, and the two courts fall in line. It is for the distinction 
between these two assemblies that the court of Rex wears formal dress. 
The combined courts are a glowing, glittering spectacle as they prome 
nade; but after midnight there are no ball, no costumes, no music only 
stillness. It is Ash Wednesday, first of the forty subdued days of Lent. 

And if you wake up at all on Ash Wednesday you will know what Ring 
Lardner meant by feeling like Rex in a state of Comus. 


THE cemeteries of New Orleans are truly cities of the dead. In place of 
marble and granite slabs set in green lawns or hillsides under trees, one 
finds closely built-up, walled enclosures filled with oblong house-like 
tombs, blinding white under the hot southern sun. The deceased reside 
in the midst of the great living city of their descendants. 

Very little is known concerning burial of the dead in Colonial times. 
Interment was beneath the surface of the ground, and there are no re 
mains of tombs or monuments, or even slabs, bearing a date earlier than 
1800, the older graves having disappeared. After 1803 the rapid increase 
in population, together with the inroads made by yellow fever and cholera, 
created a real municipal problem. New cemeteries were established and 
old ones enlarged to meet the situation. Rigid regulations regarding 
methods of burial were issued. Interment in the ground was forbidden, 
and brick tombs were required in all cemeteries, which were enclosed 
within high brick walls. The recurring epidemics of yellow fever, however, 
sent so many dead bodies to the cemeteries that these regulations could 
not always be carried out. At times the burial grounds were so overtaxed 
that the only possible way of disposing of the dead was to bury them 
en masse in shallow trenches as on the field of battle. It is estimated that 
more than 100,000 are buried in the old St. Louis cemeteries on Basin 
and Claiborne Streets alone. 

A graphic picture of the condition of the epidemic in 1853, drawn by 
Cable in Creoles of Louisiana, describes a lack of gravediggers: 

Five dollars an hour failed to hire enough of them. Some of the dead 
went to the tomb still with martial pomp and honors; but the city scaven 
gers, too, with their carts went knocking from house to house asking if 

Cemeteries 187 

there were any to be buried. Long rows of coffins were laid in furrows 
scarce two feet deep, and hurriedly covered with a few shovels full of 
earth, which the daily rains washed away, and the whole mass was left, 
filling the air far and near with the most intolerable pestilential odors. 
Around the graveyards funeral trains jostled and quarreled for places, 
in an air reeking with the effluvia of the earlier dead. Many fell to work 
and buried their own dead. Many sick died in carriages and carts. Many 
were found dead in their beds, in the stores, in the streets 

The death rate per thousand from 1800 to 1880 in some decades was 
appalling. The lowest figure was 40.22 from 1860 to 1870, while the 
highest was 63.55 from 1830 to 1840. 

The manner in which rain and water seepage hampered burials is 
vividly described in DeBow s Review of September 1852: 

A grave in any of the cemeteries is lower than the adjacent swamps, and 
from ten to fifteen feet lower than the river, so that it fills speedily with 
water, requiring to be bailed out before it is fit to receive the coffin, 
while during heavy rains it is subject to complete inundation. The great 
Bayou Cemetery (afterwards St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 on Esplanade 
Avenue) is sometimes so completely inundated that inhumation becomes 
impossible until after the subsidence of the water; the dead bodies ac 
cumulating in the meanwhile. I have watched the bailing out of the 
grave, the floating of the coffin, and have heard the friends of the de 
ceased deplore this mode of interment. 

The method of tomb burial in New Orleans is unusual. The tombs, 
which usually consist of two vaults, with a crypt below in which the bones 
are kept, are carefully sealed to prevent the escape of gases from the 
decaying bodies. Sometimes they are built in tiers, resembling great, 
thick walls, and are called ovens. After a period of time prescribed by 
law, the tombs may be opened, the coffins broken and burned, and the 
remains deposited in the crypts. By this method a single tomb may serve 
the same family for generations. 

The oven vaults line the walls of the cemetery. In some of the grave 
yards single vaults can be rented for a certain period, after which, if no 
disposition is made of the remains by relatives when the period expires, 
the body is removed and buried in some out-of-the-way corner of the 
graveyard, the coffin destroyed, and the vault rented to some other 
tenant. This seemingly heartless procedure was the only possible manner 
of interment in the restricted areas of the old burial grounds. The system 
is giving way to burial in the ground in the more modern cemeteries 
where family tombs do not already exist, but although it is quite safe 
nowadays to bury the dead beneath the ground, many tombs are still 

1 88 Economic and Social Development 

There have always been certain exceptions to the practice of tomb 
burial. In the Hebrew cemeteries burial has always been in the ground, 
and only marble and granite slabs and monuments are seen. The Potter s 
Field and Charity Hospital Cemetery, where the unclaimed or destitute 
poor are buried, present another and quite different appearance. The 
Charity Hospital Cemetery on Canal Street, for instance, has the ap 
pearance of a well-kept green lawn. Close examination, however, dis 
closes the existence of small square stones in rows, flush with the ground 
and marked with numbers. These stones mark the graves of white per 
sons at the Canal Street entrance and of Negroes at the Banks Street end. 
Only a few rows of stone markers are visible, since the entire cemetery 
has recently been raised about three feet. Underneath the present surface 
are the forgotten graves of many thousands buried there since the ceme 
tery was established in the i83o s. 

The absence of trees in the older graveyards is due to the fact that in 
so constricted a space the roots would cause an unsettling of the walls 
and tombs. Flowers, except cut flowers in vases, and lawns are also 
lacking, since there is no place for them to grow. However, on All 
Saints Day, November i, Orleanians make up for the lack of flowers, 
every tomb displaying a remembrance in floral form. The observance of 
All Saints Day is a distinctive Creole custom of European origin. Other 
sections of the country decorate graves on May 30, Memorial Day, or, in 
Catholic cemeteries, on All Souls Day, the day following All Saints , 
but in New Orleans neither of these days is observed in that way. The 
Confederate dead are remembered on June 3, while Protestants and 
Catholics alike fill the cemeteries with flowers on All Saints Day. 

In former times the Creole ladies made the day an occasion for the 
display of winter fashions, and iron benches can still be seen before some 
tombs where it was the custom for members of the family to sit and re 
ceive friends during the day. 

During the week preceding November i, Negroes can be seen hard 
at work cleaning and whitewashing the tombs. Gilt paint is sometimes 
used to make more legible the inscriptions on the tombs and on the 
blocks of marble used as bases for flower containers. New Orleans is 
flooded with flowers, chiefly chrysanthemums, which have become defi 
nitely associated with the occasion. The plants are grown in the city 
and surrounding countryside, and are sold at hundreds of shops, along 
with cut flowers imported from California and elsewhere. The floral 
decorations make the cemeteries gay with spots of white, yellow, and 
bronze. Here and there painted palm fronds, paper flowers, and ornate 

Cemeteries 189 

wreaths made of beads are to be seen. The same wreath is sometimes 
brought out year after year. Although a solemn occasion, the city takes 
on a holiday air. Crowds of people swarm through the burial places. 
From dawn until dusk the long procession continues, while hundreds of 
vendors supply refreshments and toys to pacify the children. 

New Orleans has more than thirty cemeteries at the present time 
(1937). The first Colonial cemeteries and some later graveyards such as 
Locust Grove Cemetery, now the site of the Thorny Lafon Negro school 
and playground, are no longer in existence. Many of these cemeteries 
are controlled by church congregations, and several are city property. 
Almost every one now has a section for Negroes; and there are no ex 
clusively Negro cemeteries. 

An Old Spanish document in the Cabildo, dated 1800, and dealing 
with an auction sale of lots in the old cemetery on Rampart Street in 
front of the Charity Hospital, mentions that shortly after the founding 
of the city the dead were buried on the grounds where later the capitular 
houses were erected and now stand, and that due to the increase in the 
population of the city, the said cemetery was transferred to the city block 
that corners with Bienville and Chartres Streets, being located on the 
second block coming down from the levee of the river toward the 
cathedral, on a plot now bounded by Bienville, Chartres, Conti, and 
Royal Streets. The cemetery was maintained here until 1743, when it 
was moved to the ramparts opposite the Charity Hospital of that day, 
on the square between Toulouse, Burgundy, and St. Peters Streets. In 
1788 it was moved beyond the ramparts and a little further south. Basin 
Street was cut through afterwards and the ground from Rampart to 
Basin Street detached from the cemetery. Human bones dug up as late 
as 1900 in this area indicate that it once formed a part of the burial 
ground. Treme Street (Marais) was cut through in 1838 and the grave 
yard confined to the river side of the street. The present St. Louis 
Cemetery No. i, with the strip on Marais Street, formerly called the 
American Cemetery, is all that now remains of the original Basin Street 
burial ground. Soon after 1803 a strip in the rear of the Basin Street 
cemetery was set aside to serve as a burial place for the Protestants. 

As the nature of yellow fever was not understood, every conceivable 
method of protection was tried. It was felt, for one thing, that con 
tagion spread from the cemeteries, and the City Council carried on a 
prolonged controversy with the wardens of the Cathedral in an effort to 
remove St. Louis Cemetery to some other location. In those early days 
all the ground between Rampart Street and Lake Pontchartrain was a 

190 Economic and Social Development 

swamp laced with bayous and foul with stagnant water and refuse from 
the city. Bayou Ridge Road and Bayou Metairie were the highest 
places. It was decided to leave the old cemetery as it was and establish 
a new cemetery on Claiborne Avenue reaching from Canal to St. Louis 
Streets. The square at Canal and Claiborne was afterwards reclaimed. 
A new Protestant cemetery was also established at the head of Girod 
Street. The ground now occupied by the City Yard and the Illinois 
Central Hospital was subsequently detached. Girod Cemetery was in 
use before 1820, and St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 on Claiborne Avenue 
dates from 1822. The city found it necessary to establish a pauper burial 
ground in 1833, and a location on Leprous Road was selected. Leper s 
Land was the name given to the neighborhood on Galvez Street, be 
tween Carondelet Canal and Bayou Road Ridge, because Galvez (1777- 
1785) banished the lepers, of whom there was a dangerous number in his 
day, to that neighborhood, and Miro, his successor (1785-1792), built 
a house for them there. The new cemetery was situated on the bayou 
on the present site of St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, and is referred to in old 
city directories as the Bayou Cemetery. 

As the city grew and the yearly epidemics continued, more and more 
burial grounds were needed. The present group at the head of Canal 
Street began about 1840, the Fireman s, Cypress Grove, and St. Patrick s 
being among the first. 

The suburban towns of the period above New Orleans, which were 
afterwards absorbed into the city, also had their cemeteries. Lafayette 
Cemetery No. i, at Washington Avenue and Prytania Street, was the 
first planned cemetery in New Orleans, the lanes being laid out in sym 
metrical order and provision made for driveways for funeral processions. 
The first Jewish cemetery, at Jackson Avenue and Benton (Liberty) 
Streets, dates from the i82o s. It was closed in 1866, but still exists in 
tact and is well cared for. St. Joseph s, on Washington Avenue and 
Loyola, was established in 1850. In Bouligny, or Jefferson City, the 
Soniat Street Cemetery began to be used about 1850, while the Hebrew 
cemetery of the Congregation Gates of Prayer, farther out in Hurstville 
(on Joseph Street), was established in 1852. Carrollton Cemetery goes 
back to the i83o s. 

After the Civil War the Metairie race track was turned into a cemetery 
and has become the finest in the city. The Hebrew cemeteries on French 
men Street and Elysian Fields, and St. Roch s also date from this period. 

Mark Twain once said that New Orleans had no architecture except 
that found in its cemeteries. He had the public buildings of the city in 

Cemeteries 191 

mind, and his statement was truer when made in 1875 than it is today. 
There are many beautiful tombs in the modern cemeteries, especially in 
Metairie. The material used ranges from the soft, cement-covered brick 
of early days, found chiefly in the St. Louis Cemeteries, to the finest of 
marble and granite carved and shaped into many striking and effective 
designs, and representing outlays of thousands of dollars. All styles and 
combinations of styles of architecture are to be found Egyptian, 
Greek, and Gothic. The prevailing color is dazzling white, but striking 
effects are also secured with gray and red granite. A feature of some of the 
old tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No. i is the use of small wrought-iron 
fences topped with a cross of the same material enclosing a little space 
in front of the tomb. Every large tomb has a place for flower vases, and 
most of the oven vaults have a small shelf for the same purpose, some 
of which are never without floral offerings. The prevailing design in 
tombs is a rectangle with a rounded top, but diminutive temples, Gothic 
cathedrals, and irregular designs of various kinds are to be found in all 
cemeteries. Many mausoleums erected by societies are scattered through 
all the burial grounds. Sometimes these are plain square beehives, 
but often they are unusual in design, like the mound tomb of the Army 
of Tennessee in Metairie, and the Elks tomb in Greenwood. 

Fewer epitaphs are to be found in the New Orleans cemeteries than 
elsewhere. The large number of people usually buried in a family tomb 
and the consequent lack of space on the slab make anything more than 
the name and dates impracticable. Wordings in many different languages 
are found; French and English, however, are most frequent. Perhaps the 
outstanding epitaph, at least from the old-fashioned Southern point of 
view, is the rhetorical tribute to Albert Sidney Johnston by John Dimitry, 
carved on the rear wall of the vault of the tomb of the Army of Tennessee 
in Metairie. 

In Girod Cemetery there is a forgotten tomb in which Jane Placide, 
the once-famous actress of the American Theater, rests. James H. Cald- 
well, manager of the theater and notable for many activities in early 
New Orleans history, had her tomb built and selected the epitaph. They 
were lovers, and Caldwell s tribute, in the verses of Barry Cornwall, were 
often on the lips of romanticists: 

There s not an hour 

Of day or dreaming night but I am with thee; 

There s not a breeze but whispers of thy name, 

And not a flower that sleeps beneath the moon 

But in its hues or fragrance tells a tale 

Of thee. 

192 Economic and Social Development 

There is one that sounds like the language of the Jabberwock: 

Alas that one whose dornthly joy had often to trust in heaven should 
canty thus sudden to from all its hopes benivens and though thy love for 
off remore that dealt the dog pest thou left to prove thy sufferings while 

Sacred to the memory of Robert John, a native of this city, son of 
Robert and Jane Creswell died June 4, 1845 age 26 years, 7 months 
(Girod Cemetery). 

Here also may be found what is probably the briefest epitaph in the 
city D. J. C. 1839. 

Perhaps the most arresting epitaphs in the old St. Louis Cemeteries 
are those on the tombs of the men who fell in duels: 

Mort sur le champ d honneur (Died on the field of honor) 
Victime de son honneur (Victim of his honor) 

Pour garder intact le nom de famille (To keep unsullied the name of 
the family) 

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, Basin St. between St. Louis and Toulouse, 
along with St. Louis Nos. 2 and 3, contains practically all of the tombs of 
the old Creole families. Many of the early Americans Daniel Clark, 
his daughter, Myra Clark Gaines, the two wives of Governor Claiborne 
and many others of similar prominence are buried in what used to be 
called the American Cemetery, the rear part of St. Louis No. 1 reserved 
for Protestants. Governor Claiborne himself was buried here until 1906, 
when his remains were taken to a tomb in Metairie, where they now rest. 
The oldest decipherable epitaph is that of Nannette F. de Bailly. Died 
the 24th of September, 1800. Aged 45 years. The low brick tomb of 
Etienne de Bore, the man who developed sugar-refining in Louisiana 
and the first mayor of New Orleans, is in this cemetery; his grandson 
Charles Gayarre, the historian, is buried in the same tomb. Paul Morphy, 
the famous chess expert, is also buried here. In the De Lino family tomb 
lies Chalmette, the marble slab bearing his own name having been stolen 
long ago by vandals and used as a portion of a walk in another part of 
the cemetery until broken beyond repair. The well-known Voodoo leader, 
Marie Laveau, is thought by some to lie in a well-kept grave inscribed 
as follows: 



decedee le n Juin 1897 

agee de soixante-deux ans 

Elle fut bonne mere, bonne amie et 

regrettee par tous ceux qui Font connue 

Passants priez pour elle. 

Cemeteries 193 

born LAVEAU 

Here Lies 

deceased June n, 1897 
aged sixty-two years. 

She was a good mother, a good friend and 
regretted by all who knew her. 
Passers-by, please pray for her. 

The little church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at Rampart and Conti 
Sts., was originally the mortuary chapel where all Catholic funerals were 
held from 1827 to 1860. Convinced that the dead bodies which were 
taken into the Saint Louis Cathedral during funerals were a means of 
spreading disease, the City Council forbade the holding of funerals in 
the Cathedral after 1827. The mortuary chapel was erected near the 
cemetery by the wardens of the Cathedral to fill this need. After the 
Civil War the ban on cathedral funerals was removed and the little 
chapel became a parish church. 

Si. Louis Cemetery No. 2, N. Claiborne Ave. and Bienville St., contains 
several curious tombs. Most interesting is that of Dominique You, pirate- 
captain under Jean Lafitte, veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, and 
afterwards a ward politician, whose funeral was the event of the year. 
Here also is the unmarked Voodoo grave, another supposed resting- 
place of Marie Laveau. The uninscribed concrete is covered with crosses 
made by the faithful with bits of red brick; and devotees still bring 
contributions of food and money, especially on St. John s Eve (June 23). 
1 Hoodoo money, in two-cent and eleven-cent combinations, left at the 
base of the tomb will bring good luck to the depositor or bad luck to his 
enemy. Marie is said to converse with her followers through the walls 
of her oven, imparting such information as they desire. Other interest 
ing tombs include those of Alexander Milne, the Scotch philanthropist, 
in whose honor Milneburg is named; Francois-Xavier Martin, historian; 
Pierre Soule, United States Senator, Ambassador to Spain, and Confed 
erate statesman; Claude Treme, who founded Faubourg Treme; and 
Oscar J. Dunn, the mulatto Lieutenant-Governor under Henry Clay 

St. Louis No. 3, 3421 Esplanade Ave. (Esplanade bus from Canal and 
Burgundy Sts.\ occupies the site of the old Bayou Cemetery established 
by the city in 1835. It became the property of the cathedral in 1856 
and is now the finest of the three St. Louis Cemeteries. Its location on 
very low ground has always been a detriment, but the grounds are well 
kept and many fine tombs are to be seen. The priests of the diocese are 
buried here, and many of the religious orders, both priests and nuns, have 
their mausoleums in this cemetery. Bishops and archbishops are always 
buried beneath the altar of the cathedral. There is an impressive monu 
ment to the memory of James Gallier, Sr., the famous architect who was 

194 Economic and Social Development 

lost with his wife at sea, erected by his son. Thorny Lafon, the mulatto 
philanthropist, also has a tomb in this cemetery. 

Girod Cemetery, S. Liberty St. between Cypress and Perilliat Sts. (S. 
Claiborne car from Canal and St. Charles St. to Girod; walk four blocks 
right), the oldest Protestant cemetery in the city, is hidden away in the 
railroad yards at the head of Girod Street. Christ Church came into 
control of it through a purchase from the city in 1825. It has not been 
used much in recent years, and the luxuriant vines and shrubs with 
which it is overgrown give it a haunted appearance. Gnarled fig trees 
push their way through the bulging sides of some of the old tombs, 
and the wall ovens are damp and green with maidenhair fern. Many 
famous people of former days are buried here, including Glendy Burke, 
prominent citizen and financier of ante-bellum days, and Col. W. W. S. 
Bliss, survivor of many battles in the Mexican War. Another tomb is 
that of John David Fink, founder of Fink Asylum for Protestant Widows 
and Orphans, who, according to tradition, excluded maiden ladies from 
his charitable enterprises because of having once been refused by a girl 
who preferred working out her own destiny as an old maid. 

Metairie Cemetery, intersection of Pontchartrain Blvd. and Metairie 
Rd. (West End car from any place on Canal St.), is the finest of all New 
Orleans cemeteries and one of the show places of the city. The site of a 
famous ante-bellum race track, it occupies a beautiful location among 
groves of green trees and quiet waterways. In 1873 the racing was dis 
continued and the Metairie Cemetery Association formed. In 1895 the 
grounds were beautified and landscaped, with a series of drives, paved 
walks, lagoons, and many fine trees. Marble and granite in beautiful 
and costly designs line every roadway. Here cemetery architecture is to 
be found at its best. 

In the center of a large green mound surrounded by palm trees is the 
handsome granite shaft, the Army of Northern Virginia Monument, 
commemorating the Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson, and the 
men of the Louisiana Division of the Army of Northern Virginia who 
fought under him. The monument was dedicated May 10, 1881, the 
eighteenth anniversary of the death of Jackson, in the presence of a 
great throng of spectators. Above the mausoleum, in which 2,500 men 
are buried, rises the granite monument, 32 feet in height. Atop this is 
the statue of Jackson, neither calmer nor grander than Jackson stood 
in flesh/ On the pedestal are carved two crossed flags with the inscription 
From Manassas to Appomattox, 1 86 1 to 1865. The statue was the work 
of Achille Perelli of New Orleans. 

The monument erected to the memory of the Louisiana Division of 
the Army of Tennessee is one of the finest Confederate monuments in 
New Orleans. 

It was dedicated April 5, 1887, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 
Battle of Shiloh. The handsome bronze equestrian statue represents 
General Johnston as he led the charge at that battle in which he received 

Cemeteries 195 

his mortal wound. On the right of the entrance to the mausoleum stands 
a lifelike marble statue of an orderly sergeant calling the roll of the 
soldiers. The Gothic arch at the entrance of the tomb is surmounted 
with a bronze medallion with flags and arms, and at the sides are the 
names of the battles in which the division fought. The remains of 
General Beauregard repose inside, and the vault contains a memorial 
tablet to Johnston. The work was executed by Alexander Doyle and 
Achille Perelli. 

1 At the intersection of Aves. D and I, a short distance from the entrance 
of the cemetery, stands the white granite monument erected in memory 
of Louisiana s Washington Artillery, one of the best-known military 
organizations of the South. The company was organized in 1840 and 
saw its first service in the war with Mexico. During the Civil War the 
company, which had by then expanded into a battalion of five companies, 
saw service in more than sixty great battles from Bull Run to Appomat- 
tox. The monument is 32 feet in height, and is topped with the figure of 
an artillery soldier leaning on a gun swab. Granite posts, shaped like 
upright cannon and connected with iron chains, surround the mound. 
The base of the pedestal consists of a graduated pyramid of three steps, 
with sculptured cannonballs at the bottom. On the face of the pedestal 
appears the emblem of the company, a tiger s head, with the motto 
Try us, and also the badge of the artillery, the State seal, and a bas- 
relief bust of Washington. The dates 1846 and 1861-1865 are en ~ 
graved on one side, together with the names of the battles in which the 
company fought and the members who lost their lives in service. George 
Doyle was the sculptor. 

Elsewhere in the cemetery are the tombs of Generals John B. Hood, 
Richard Taylor, and Fred N. Ogden, all prominent Confederates. Jef 
ferson Davis was first buried here, but his remains have since been re 
moved. The remains of Governor Claiborne, the first American Governor 
of Louisiana, were brought to Metairie .from St. Louis No. 1. Other 
famous names are those of the Reverend Thomas Riley Markham, Chap 
lain General of the Confederacy; Dr. B. F. Palmer, pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church; Bishop Sessums, of the Episcopal Church; Gov 
ernor Henry Clay Warmoth, and John Dimitry. 

Many of the prominent families of the city have tombs in Metairie, 
and the remains of many others have been brought there from their 
original resting-places in other cemeteries. Magnificent family tombs rise 
on all sides, and certain oddities are to be seen as well. The tall shaft of 
the Moriarity Monument stands just to the left of the entrance. Amusing 
stories are told about the four female figures at the base of the shaft, but 
all are without foundation in fact. The four statues are simply stock 
figures placed on the monument for effect by the builder. Mr. Dooley, 
upon observing the statues, is said to have remarked: Faith, Hope, 
Charity and Mrs. Moriarity. Somewhat to the rear on the right, near 
Pontchartrain Blvd., stands the red granite tomb of Jose Morales, with 
torches of flaming stone and a bronze female figure in the act of knock- 

196 Economic and Social Development 

ing at the door of the tomb. It was built originally for Josie Arlington 
Duebler, of Storeyville fame, and many stories have been told of it. 

Greenwood and Cypress Grove Cemeteries, City Park Ave. and West End 
Blvd. (Cemeteries or West End car from any place on Canal St.). The 
Firemen s Benevolent Association controls these two cemeteries, which 
are situated across the street from one another and just across the Basin 
from Metairie Cemetery. They contain the tombs of many prominent 
people of earlier days, including that of Warren Easton, the New Orleans 
educator. Here are also the mausoleums of the Swiss Society, the Associa 
tion of Alsace Lorraine, the Typographical Union, and the Elks. 

In the front left-hand corner of Greenwood Cemetery, plainly visible 
from City Park Ave., stands the monument erected in honor of the Con 
federate dead. The mausoleum, in which more than 600 soldiers are 
buried, consists of a large mound in the shape of a pyramid, buttressed 
with granite on the edges. Steps in front lead up to a granite slab, about 
8 feet square, and in the center rises a marble shaft 9 feet in height. On 
the shaft is a life-size statue of a Confederate outpost guard, body bent 
and bayonet pointed, an expression of dogged watchfulness on the face. 
Life-size busts of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Leonidas Polk, and 
Albert Sidney Johnston adorn the four faces of the shaft. On the south 
side is the engraved inscription, Erected in Memory of the Heroic Virtues 
of the Confederate Soldier, by the Ladies Benevolent Association. 
B. M. Harrod of New Orleans selected the design for the monument, and 
its erection was under the management of George Stroud. The material 
used in the structure is Carrara marble, and the approximate cost was 

At the entrance, standing beneath a group of Gothic arches, is the 
6-foot statue of a fireman, erected in 1887 in honor of the members of the 
Volunteer Fire Department who lost their lives in service. The statue of 
the fireman is of marble and was designed by Alexander Doyle. The 
pedestal and arches are of white Maine granite. 

Cypress Grove Cemetery has a gateway in Egyptian style. Here one 
finds the monuments and tombs of Dr. Warren Stone, outstanding 
physician; Maunsel White, veteran of 1815; James H. Caldwell, actor, 
banker, and impresario; and Mayors John P. Conway, Charles J. Leeds, 
and John T. Monroe. Among the ovens along the Canal St. wall is one 
with a slab marked Grave of Mumford, in which rests the young Con 
federate sympathizer who was court-martialed and hanged for pulling 
down the American flag from the United States Mint in April 1862. A 
fine monument of Irad Ferry, the first volunteer fireman to meet death 
while on duty, at afire in Camp Street in 1837, stands just to the right of 
the entrance. The mausoleum contains the bodies of other members of 
Ferry s company who lost their lives in combatting fires. 

One of the most interesting tombs in this cemetery is the Chinese 
Mausoleum, a plain square concrete structure with vaults opening on an 
inside covered court. The slabs all have Arabic numerals, and some have 

Cemeteries 197 

Chinese symbols. In one corner there is an open grate in which incense is 
burned during burial services. The custom of leaving food as an offering 
to the dead is no longer observed. The mausoleum belongs to the Chinese 
tongs and affords a temporary resting-place to its members, since all 
Chinese are taken to China for burial, regardless of the length of time 
they have been absent from their native land. At intervals of about ten 
years the vaults are opened, the bones removed, cleaned and packed in 
steel boxes, about 30 inches high and 20 inches square, for shipment to 
China for permanent burial. 

St. Rock Cemetery, St. Roch and Derbigny Sts. (Frenchmen bits from 
Canal and Chartres Sts. to Derbigny; walk four blocks downtown). St. Roch 
is one of the quaintest of New Orleans cemeteries. Modeled after the 
famous Campo Santo dei Tedeschi (Holy Field of the Germans) near St. 
Peter s in Rome, it was called the Campo Santo by its founder, Father 
Thevis, a young German priest, who had come to New Orleans at the 
request of the Bishop of New Orleans because of the scarcity of native 
priests. As assistant pastor of the Holy Trinity Church, he was con 
fronted in 1868 with the loss of his pastor and many of the parishioners, 
victims of a yellow fever epidemic. In this extremity Father Thevis 
invoked the intercession of Saint Roch, famous for his wonderful work 
among the plague sufferers of the Middle Ages, promising to erect with 
his own hands the chapel of St. Roch, which has been a favorite shrine 
ever since. The cemetery soon grew up around it; its walls, with their 
chapel-like niches containing the Stations of the Cross within and tombs 
beneath, and Saint Michael s Mausoleum in the second section of the 
cemetery, were added soon afterwards. A steady stream of devout 
Catholics have made their journey to St. Roch for many years. Mass is 
said there every Monday morning, and on any day candles can be found 
burning before the altar, either in thanksgiving or in petition for some 
favor received or desired. 

The chapel is a diminutive chancel of a Gothic church, and is con 
structed of brick covered with cement. Tall, narrow windows pierce the 
upper walls, while the lower reaches are covered with metal in imitation 
of wood paneling. The little altar is made of carved wood and has a small 
statue of Saint Roch and his faithful dog just above the tabernacle. 
The painted folding panels of the altarpiece are so badly faded that only 
the gold halos on the heads of the saints remain. Along the walls on each 
side of the altar are marble emblems and plaques, together with artificial 
limbs and crutches testifying to the cures that have been wrought through 
the intercession of the patron saint. In the floor of the chapel in front of 
the altar is the marble slab covering the grave of Father Thevis. Each 
Good Friday for many years young girls of New Orleans have made a 
pilgrimage to St. Roch s Chapel because of a local legend which promised 
a husband before the year was out to the maiden who said a prayer and 
left a small sum at each of nine churches. It was considered doubly 
lucky to end this pilgrimage at St. Roch s and to pick a four-leaf clover 
in the old cemetery. The red spots which appear on the clover there are 

198 Economic and Social Development 

said to result from the blood spattered by a bride-to-be who committed 
suicide on the grave of her lover. 


The cemetery of St. Vincent de Paul, 1322 Louisa St. (take St. Claude 
car at Canal and N. Rampart Sts.; get of at Louisa St. and walk two blocks 
left) , is notable because of its connection with Pepe Llulla, who is credited 
with having established it, although it appears that he merely developed 
it after he became connected with the family who started it. A native of 
Mahon, Spain, heavily bearded and of striking appearance, he was noted 
for his swordsmanship, and was said to have been a veteran of more than 
thirty duels. His prowess in this respect was so great that popular tradi 
tion states that he started the cemetery in order to have a convenient 
place to bury his victims. St. Vincent de Paul s also contains the tombs 
of Mother Catherine Seals, Negro spiritualist leader, and of Queen Marie 
of the Gypsies, who died March 19, 1916. The large marble tomb of the 
latter bears the name Boacho and the legend Tomb of the Tinka- 
Gypsy. Gypsies are said to make regular visits to the resting-place of 
their Queen. 

There are many Hebrew cemeteries in different sections of the city, 
while the Masons and Odd Fellows have well-kept burial grounds at the 
head of Canal St. The three St. Patrick Cemeteries, in which many of 
the old Irish pioneers are buried, are also on Canal St. The Lafayette 
Cemeteries No. i, 1427 Sixth St. (take Magazine car at Canal and Maga 
zine Sts.; get off at Sixth St. and walk two blocks right), and No. 2, Wash 
ington Ave. between Loyola and Saratoga Sts. (take St. Charles car at 
Canal and Baronne Sts.; get off at Washington Ave. and walk four blocks 
right), contain tombs of many well-known residents of the old Garden 
District; St. Joseph s, Washington Ave. and Loyola St., contains the 
original frame church of St. Mary s Assumption, which was moved there 
from its original site, when the present brick church was erected. The 
National Cemetery at Chalmette was laid out in 1865 and contains the 
graves of more than 12,000 soldiers, almost half of them unknown. 



The Church of the Innocent Blood, later the Church of the True 
Light, 2420 Charbonnet St. Drive down N. Rampart St. and St. 
Claude Ave.; left from St. Claude on Flood St.; park at the 2400 
block and walk three blocks right. It is not advisable to attempt the 
trip in wet weather. Services at 8.30 P.M. Sundays. 

MOTHER CATHERINE SEALS, the High Priestess of New Orleans 
Negro cults, was born in Huntsville, Kentucky, and came to New Orleans 
at the age of sixteen. In 1922, Catherine left the kitchen of a Mrs. Nettles 
to organize her Church of the Innocent Blood, which was the forerunner 
of the many spiritualist churches among the Negroes in New Orleans. 

Brother Isaiah, the white prophet who astounded New Orleans in 1921- 
22 by curing sick and lame persons with a magic touch and prayers on the 
levee of the Mississippi River, may be indirectly responsible for the 
Church of the Innocent Blood. It is said that because of her color he re 
fused to cure Catherine of a paralytic stroke resulting from a fight with 
her third husband. This inspired her to pray more intensely for religion 
and better health. De Lawd heahed me, she later contended. He 
healed me; Ah heals all colors. A spirit told her that her prayers would 
be answered and suggested that she hold a religious meeting of sinners as 
soon as she became well. She cured by layin on ob hands and anointin 
dere innards with a full tumbler of warm castor oil, followed by a quarter 
of a lemon to kill the taste. Ya gotta do as Ah says ef ya wants to be 
healed an blessed, she told those who objected. 

Without any money or followers, on a large lot beyond the Industrial 
Canal, Mother Catherine started her Manger and the Church of the 

2OO Economic and Social Development 

Innocent Blood. Mother Catherine declared/ De Lawd tol me to have a 
twelve beaded fence round ma Manger but de contractors give me only 
ten. Ah s been gypped. Each boad represented a nation. The extra 
ordinary height of the church fence was intended to keep curious persons 
off the grounds. The Manger is sixty feet long, fifty feet wide, and can 
accommodate 300 people. It was started November 4, 1929, and com 
pleted January 4, 1930. It was planned in minute detail by Mother 
Catherine herself. She even made most of its statues, and painted the 
pictures that adorned its walls. The room was dominated by an altar as 
centerpiece, surrounded by the fourteen stations of the Cross and banners 
of the Sacred Heart, Jehovah (whom Mother Catherine called Jehovia ) 
and the Innocent Blood. Flanking this were several feast tables from 
which blessed lemonade in summer and blessed coffee in winter were 
served. Twenty feet from the altar a large choir balcony hung, containing 
a single piano and enough chairs to accommodate the Manger s numerous 
singers. Small clay figures of Mother Catherine were scattered about the 
Manger, and in the rear stood a five-foot statue of the priestess. To the 
congregation this statue represented a messenger of fear and fate, and they 
prayed to it for forgiveness. 

The High Priestess slept in the Manger in an ornate brass bed, from 
which, late at night, she conversed with spirits. An array of weaponless 
bodyguards watched over Mother Catherine while she slept. At mid 
night, as in the blaze of day, persons came to her to be prayed over and 

The Church of the Innocent Blood was approximately forty feet from 
the Manger. Flags of the Sacred Heart, Jehovah, and the Innocent 
Blood flew from atop the building. Rituals borrowed in part from the 
Roman Catholic Church were used, and the building was crowded with 
holy pictures, statues, and altars; five hundred oil lamps burned con 
stantly. Wish Lamps were interspersed among them. The petitioner 
put water in the lamp instead of oil; if the water turned dark as it 
usually did the wish would come true. In the center of the church, a 
small manger, surrounded by miniature animals, hung seven feet from the 

Mother Catherine had no particular uniform. The Lord told her what 
to wear, and it was usually spectacular. One of her favorite costumes was 
a voluminous white dress and white cap. A large key dangled from a blue 
cord tied around her waist. The members were permitted to kneel at her 
feet and make wishes as they kissed this key. Mother Catherine did not 
wear any shoes on her grotesquely large feet during the church services; 
she reminded her people that de Lawd went widout shoes. 

Some Negro Cults 201 

Mother Catherine always entered the church through a hole in the 
roof of a side room, intimating that she was sent down from Heaven to 
preach the gospel. The men of the congregation helped her to the top of 
the church by means of a ladder, and she made a very solemn entrance; 
all remained quiet until she had blessed everyone. Then a rhythmic out 
burst of chanting voices and stamping feet began as she started preaching. 
The High Priestess stood in the center of the altar and raised her hand in 
blessing. * Chillen, Ah s come heah to do good, not evil. The response 
was unanimously favorable. Such statements as She sho did ; Look a 
heah, she done cured me ; and Ah believes in ya, Mother, came from 
whites as well as blacks. Mother Catherine did not bother with the Bible: 
she could remember everything in it. Ah s read de Bible all de time. Ah s 
gonna gib ya facts. She began her talks with a short history of the 
church. For every Amen from Mother Catherine came a chorus of, 
Yas, and Preach it. When the congregation started singing much im 
provising was done, chiefly by Mother Catherine and her co-workers, who 
were clad in long white robes and sat in the front pews. A favorite hymn 

Hurry Angel, Hurry 

Hurry Angel hurry! hurry down to the pool. 
I want you to trouble the water this mornin 
To bathe my weary soul. 
Angel got two wings to veil my face. 

Two wings to fly away 

Early in the mornin , bout the break of day 

Two angels came from heaven and rolled the stone away. 

Angel got two wings to veil my face 

Angel got two wings to fly away. 

I would not be a hypocrite 
I tell you the reason why 
Cause death might overtake me 
And I wouldn t be ready to die. 
Angel got two wings to veil my face 
Angel got two wings to fly away. 

When a brother or sister wanted to be healed, he was escorted to the 
altar by a co-worker. Mother Catherine surveyed the candidate closely 
and asked, Has de Lawd got His rod (curse) on ya? Ah can t cure any 
one what s got de rod on dem. The candidate first took his castor oil or 
black draught, then Mother Catherine prayed over him, making various 
motions and calling, Heah me, Sperrits, while he stood silently before 

2O2 Economic and Social Development 

her. If he were not healed, someone would say, Sumpins wrong wid him. 
Boy, clean yo soul fo de debbil gits ya too much. Paralytics were rubbed 
and prayed over with the assistance of unseen spirits; the lame were; 
often whipped with a wet towel and told to run out of the church. The 
most spectacular cures were those of the blind. Easy cases were treated 
with blessed rainwater; in stubborn cases, Mother Catherine called 
lightnin right down from hebben to clear the clouded visions of her 
patients. To the statue of Jehovah women prayed that their men would 
1 do whut s right ; but the men told their troubles directly to Mother 
Catherine. The High Priestess did not charge a fee for her services or 
remedies but with a finger pointed towards the voluntary contribution 
box said, l Ah s gotta pay ma expenses an eat, ya know. 

Mother Catherine often invited prominent people to dine at the Manger, 
saying that she liked to have letter red people around her. At dinner, 
she would sit at a table apart from the guests, remarking, In de nex 
worP Ah will be high up in things, but in things of dis worP, Ah knows 
ma place. 

Mother Catherine died in 1930 believing she would rise from the dead 
as did Jesus Christ. She contended, Ah s gonna sleep awile, not die. 
De great Gawd Jehovia, he s callin me to come an rest awile. But on de 
thud day Ah s comin back; Ah s gonna rise agin. Ah s gonna continue 
ma good wuk. Thousands attended the funeral, at which many feeble and 
timorous guests fainted. The congregation of the Church of the Innocent 
Blood intended that the High Priestess should be buried in the middle of 
the Manger next to the statue of Jehovah, but the city health officials 
objected and Mother Catherine was buried in the St. Vincent de Paul 
Cemetery, vault number 144, 4th tier. 

Many of the persons Mother Catherine cared for still inhabit three 
dilapidated houses on the grounds. Eliza Johnson, better known as 
Mother Rita, and actually the mother of fourteen children, is Mother 
Catherine s successor. Eliza came to New Orleans from Baton Rouge. 
She states that she suffered with lumbago prior to her visit here, but 
Mother Catherine looked me in de face an de lumbago it disappeared/ 
Mother Rita left a career as cook for a wealthy family to become the 
favorite co-worker of the High Priestess. She is past seventy and stands 
ready to bless or ban anyone who visits the old Manger and church, now 
called the Church of the True Light. The old mammy mother says 
that Mother Catherine prays and sings with her every night but never 
talks about the church, for Mother Catherine s wuk is done. She s 

Some Negro Cults 203 


(Bishop L. H. Treadwell) 1619 South Rampart St. Jackson street-car 
at Canal St. to Euterpe. Walk right one block. Services daily 4.30- 
6.00 P.M. and 7.30-10.30 P.M. 

This church was founded in 1932 by Bishop L. H. Treadwell, who was 
.born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and started preaching at the age of 
fifteen. Father Treadwell was given the title of bishop because of his 
healing powers and biblical knowledge; he now controls more than 150 
churches throughout the country. 

One of the sisters opens the service; singing and praying follow, con 
tinuing for an hour. Songs improvised from unrelated bits of Scripture 
and imagery, such as the following, are popular here. 

Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 

Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 

Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 

That the sinners all hate him so? 

Old man Josua had seven sons, 

Little David being the youngest one. 

David was the shepherd boy, 

He knew all about the shepherd s voice. 

It kept on rainin an the lightnin flashed. 

He said, Don t call the roll til I get there. 

Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
That the sinners all hate him so? 

Lookin over in the empty sky 

I saw King Jesus come riding by. 

I said, Ride on, Jesus, I know you re the king; 

You got the power under your wings. 

Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
Tell me what harm has my Jesus done, 
That the sinners all hate him so? 

In between the songs the members testify as to the healing powers of 
the Bishop and the church. Ah been suff ren wid a pain in ma right side 

2O4 Economic and Social Development 

sumpin awful all week, says a tall mulatto, but since Ah been settin 
heah Ah s had relief. A large black woman in the rear of the church gets 
to her feet with difficulty. Ah been feelin so dizzy an faint Ah cuddin 
do no inin all day long, she declares, but since Ah come into dis heah 
House ob Gawd de dizziness done passed away. 

When the Bishop finally begins the sermon, cries of joy, hymns, and 
shouts burst from the congregation. The emotional pitch rises; the 
younger sisters and brothers perform peculiar dances, and the more 
elderly bite their fingers, shake their skirts, and parade around the church 
crying, Preach it, Father. Lay it to me, Father. Some of the more over 
wrought members are visited by the sperrits and shout exhortations in 
strange tongues. Guests are urged to become members in a seemingly 
endless hypnotic chant: 

OH! come on, come on, come on, 
OH! come on, come on, come on, 
OH! come on, come on, come on, 
Ple-e-e-e-ease do too. 

When the noise lessens, the sermon continues. Later the lame, dis 
eased, and blind are led forward to be healed amid the noisy rejoicing of 
the brethren. Bishop TreadwelPs most remarkable recent cure, he claims, 
was that of a person whom the doctors of a well-known hospital had given 
up as hopeless. 


(Mother L. Crosier) 2925 Audubon St. Claiborne street-car at Canal 
to Broadway and S. Claiborne Ave. Transfer to Broadway bus to 
Pritchard and Pine Sts. Walk right one block. Daily services at 
8.30 P.M. 

This two-story, red-brick church has a membership of five hundred, 
led by Mother L. Crosier, fortune-teller and healer. Easily approached 
and very sympathetic, Mother Crosier relates how the Blessed Virgin 
Mary appeared one day while she was washing and commanded her to go 
out and preach the gospel. Opening a small church on South Claiborne 
Avenue, her success was instantaneous, and in less than a month she was 
forced to move into larger quarters. In 1923, with the financial assistance 
of some white people, she constructed the present church, which cost 
more than $20,000. 

Mother Crosier s services are similar to those held in other spiritualist 

Some Negro Cults 205 

churches; there is singing, dancing, and fainting. Those to be cured are 
brought to the altar during the service and healed by means of prayer and 
holy water. During the service Mother Crosier shakes hands with those 
members who are in good standing, financially and spiritually. 


(Father James Joseph) Corner Fourth and S. Johnson Sts. S. Claiborne 
street-car from Canal and St. Charles Sts.; transfer (right) to Louisiana 
bus at Washington Ave.; walk one block right at S. Johnson St. 
Services: 12 noon Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 7.30 
P.M. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Noon services on 
Saturdays for men only. 

The building housing this church was formerly a neighborhood grocery. 
It is a small, one-room, clapboarded building furnished with benches, 
chairs, and a central altar. Flowers, pictures of saints, and religious 
paraphernalia give an added churchly touch. In one of its three small 
windows a sign identifies the little place as the Jerusalem Temple Baptist 

Father James Joseph, the pastor, is tall, very black, and burly. His 
speech is precise and fluent, accented with frequent bows and smiles. 
Brother Brushback, his chief deacon, is his antithesis short and bla 
tant. Before the businesslike pastor can be approached, his bodyguard, a 
tiny, frail, lemon-colored, sharp-tongued Negro, must be interviewed. 
Private consultation with Father Joseph costs two dollars and a half. 

The services here are so well attended that the crowds fill the building 
and spread out into the streets. Blind, lame, and diseased persons are 
accompanied by hopeful relatives expecting miraculous cures. Many 
white people are numbered among the congregation. 

After a preliminary service, in which the congregation sings and prays, 
and the deacons exhort and pass the basket, Father Joseph enters the 
church. His entry calms the fervor momentarily, but when he begins to 
speak hysteria sweeps like a flame throughout the room. Groans, shouts, 
the tapping of feet, and the swaying of bodies punctuate his sermon. In 
Negro parlance, the church gets hot. 

While collectors pass through the congregation with embarrassing fre 
quency, insisting on sums that diminish in size as the services progress, 
Father Joseph rambles on bombastically: 

Ah guarantee y all everlastin happiness if ya stick wid me. Ah ll run 
ya outta dis church if ya mess aroun . Don say Ah cain t run ya. Ah got 

206 Economic and Social Development 

power! To tell de truth Ah can tell anybody whar to git off at. Take de 
day when Ah went down to de cou t. Ah toP de judge to let a man go 
what had done stoled. Ah said let him go an dey let him go. An Ah 
didn t use no hoodoo, neither. Ah ain t no hoodoo man, me. But ya jest 
let dem hoodoo people mess wid me. Ah know dere is hoodoos right heah 
in dis church. Ya cain t fool me. Dey come ta see what Ah can do. Ah m 
gonna show dem, too. Ah am a healer. Ah kin heal people right fo ya 
eyes, Ah don go behin ya back. 

Now, Ah dare anybody to tell me dat Ah cain t tell dey fortune. But 
ya better watch out, cause if ya is messin wid another woman s man or 
another man s woman Ah s gonna tell it! If ya men is back-biting, Ah 
am gonna tell on ya. 

Now is de time for dem whut wants ta be healed to come to de front/ 

Murmurs of awe and the shuffling of feet are heard, then a hush of ex 
pectancy falls on the crowd. Father Joseph places his hand on the Bible 
and declares, Now, Ah am gonna kill all dem hoodoo sperrits. He wraps 
a white cloth around the head and eyes of a blind girl and intones solemnly, 
1 In de name of de Father, de Son, and de Holy Ghost, Ah comman s ya 
to see. After this is said the girl exclaims, Ah see light. Father Joseph 
asks her to point to the light and the young girl points to the door and 
windows. All of this does not seem to startle anyone. Father does dat 
all de time. 

Other persons step forward to be cured. One woman is told, Ya hus 
band put hoodoo on ya. He put dried snake dust in yo eyes and sent ya 
blind, but da s all right. Use dat water Ah gave ya. The pastor talks to 
the white folks, explaining, Ya be hoodooed, too. Dat one was hoodooed, 
wasn t ya, child? I cure ev rybody, white and black alike. Makes no dif 
ference to me. 

When the healing is over, the money collector returns with blessed 
candles, asking five cents for each. They are sold without any difficulty 
and the congregation is then dismissed. 


(Mother C. J. Hyde) 2802 Second St. at the corner of Clara St. 
S. Claiborne street-car at Canal to Second St. Walk left two blocks. 
Services: Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8.30 P.M. 

The St. James Temple, founded by Mother Hyde in February 1923 
in accordance with her paraphrase of Christ s words, Great things I am 

Some Negro Cults 207 

doing, but greater things you shall do, attracts a large number of persons 
through reputed cures by prayer. To derive the full benefit of the prayers 
one must believe in the teachings of Mother Hyde; this belief is made 
known in an open confessional called * testifying. She then reads the 
Bible, calls on departed ancestors (now angels), begs assistance from the 
spirits, and shakes herself into a frenzy, tossing her head and crying, 
Chile, ya is free from sin an will get what ya so desire. The fortunate 
one then makes a donation. As he prepares to leave, an assistant im 
presses upon him the obligations which he owes to Mother Hyde, warning 
him that to disobey her is to disobey God. He nods assent, smiles, and 
departs confidently. 

Mother Hyde, a house servant before she heard the call, has a charter, 
of which she is very proud, from the State Government. Any of her co- 
workers may receive a sub-charter from her upon acquiring the know 
ledge of how to cure sickness through prayer, and upon the payment of 
fifteen dollars. Upon receipt of her charter the co-worker, with Mother 
Hyde s co-operation and blessing, usually organizes a church of her own. 

Services at Mother Hyde s church are impressive. The staccato rhythm 
of clapping hands, the chanting and yelling of voices, and the swaying and 
writhing of bodies are most exciting to the visitor. The ghostlike figure of 
Mother Hyde moves in and out of the crowd, preaching affectionately 
but solemnly. Her favorite brothers and sisters sit nearest her, and as the 
leader searches for a text the congregation reverently inquires, Yas, 
Mother. Yas, Mother. Git right. What ya gonna say? Amen. She 
finally speaks. Sisters and Brothers, Ah am talking to ya. Then she 
begins to preach and prophesy. The people back away and shout Amen 
above the voice of Mother Hyde, who moves up and down the aisle. 
Some of the sisters work themselves into a frenzy and have to be quieted. 
The story of a member who gave money and received a special blessing is 
woven into the sermon as a reminder to the congregation that financial 
help is necessary. 

At the close of the service, the faithful ask their leader for her blessing 
as a protection against evil. Dramatically, she lifts her arms and intones 
the words of benediction; then, with a gesture of finality, dismisses the 

208 Economic and Social Development 


(Mother E. Keller) 2312 Felicity St. Jackson Ave. street-car at 
Canal to Jackson and LaSalle. Walk right three blocks. Services: 
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8.30 P.M. 

The St. James Temple No. 2 was organized and founded by Mother E. 
Keller. The interior of this tabernacle, which seats three hundred persons 
comfortably, is decorated with numerous statues, pictures of saints, 
candles, and an altar. 

Mother Keller claims she received training in Voodooism from a Mo 
hammedan prince in New York, met some of the greatest Voodoo doctors 
in the country, and became well versed in this mysterious art. When, 
however, she cured her sister, after doctors had said the sick girl would not 
live, Mother Keller renounced Voodooism, as a means of showing her 
appreciation to the Lord. Turning to the spiritualist church, she became 
a protege of Mother Hyde and soon had a large following for her reputed 
ability to read minds and to heal. Members of the church feel that no 
thing is more dangerous than to disobey Mother Keller; she explains the 
necessity of belief in her, and no one is allowed on the platform unless he 
has accepted her teachings. 

An atmosphere of nervous tension is maintained by Mother Keller s 
frequent spasmodic announcements that she reads the hearts of various 
members of the congregation. Often she singles out an individual and 
foretells his future. Her people throw themselves into their hymn-singing 
and dancing with a passion rarely seen even in spiritualist churches. 
Members writhe, quiver, and shout; often they dance themselves into a 
state of complete insensibility. 


(Mother Kate Francis) Corner Jackson Ave. and Willow St. Jackson 
Ave. street-car to Willow St. Services: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, 
and Friday at 8.30 P.M. 

Mother Kate Francis burst into sudden prominence in 1931 when, with 
the sense of drama typical of spiritualist leaders, she led, through the 
streets of New Orleans, a barefoot procession to end the depression. 
Robed in long white gowns belted with baby-blue sashes, the group pa- 

Some Negro Cults 209 

raded through the streets singing and praying loudly fo de Lawd to rain 
jobs down on ev ybody. Prior to that time, she had been just another of 
the numerous Negro cult healers of the city. 

The Temple is a small tent in Mother Kate s side yard. Sacred pictures 
decorate the walls of the tent, and on the altar is a large statue of the 
Mother of Perpetual Help. On entering the tent, each co-worker kneels 
and prays before two large crucifixes that flank the altar. While the 
congregation awaits the entrance of Mother Kate, a testimonial meeting 
is held. The co-workers stand and lead the congregation in singing. After 
each hymn, co-workers testify. Each testimony or determination is 
begun with this prayer: 

Mah fust obed ence is to Gawd de Father; mah secon to Mother 
Kate, mothers, co-wukkers, visitin frien s an sinnahs likewise, ef 
theah be any. 

The co-worker then asks the people to pray that Mother Kate may be 
strenkened where she is weak, and built up where she is tore down. 

Other hymns are sung, and the congregation sways to the insistent 
rhythm of clapping hands and patting feet. At the moment excitement 
has reached its highest intensity, Mother Kate makes a dramatic entrance, 
striding majestically to the holy-water font before the altar. Here she 
pauses, and a hush falls on the congregation as she dips her finger symbol 
ically into the water, and genuflects with outstretched arms and bowed 
head before the altar. She remains in this attitude of devotion a moment, 
then rises and faces the people, who immediately burst into song once 
more. Neither Mother Kate nor her co-workers wear shoes, and the 
patting of their bare feet on the hardpacked clay floor can be heard dis 
tinctly, even above the music of the tambourines, piano, and drums which 
forms a background for the singing. 

The basket is passed for collection during the song. When it is brought 
back to Mother Kate, she eyes its contents critically, and if not satisfied 
takes it from the co-worker and personally makes a second collection, 
exclaiming, Dat s not nuf fo one little po k chop, an Ah sho can eat po k 

In addition to her preaching, Mother Kate Francis tells fortunes; 
but this she does at her residence, the temple being reserved for the 
servus ob de Lawd. 

2io Economic and Social Development 


(Father Daniel Dupont) 2810 Melpomene St. S. Claiborne street 
car at Canal St. to Melpomene. Walk right two blocks. Services: 
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8.30 P.M. 

Father Dupont, brother of Mother Kate Francis, founded St. Michael s 
No. 9 in 1932, after he had acquired the ability to cure diseases and men 
tal ailments. He joined the faith when Mother Kate began making big 
money in her spiritual work. A spirit came to him promising unlimited 
success, and although he can give no description of the spirit, he maintains 
that the good spirits come in the guise of people and saints, while the bad 
appear as animals. 

While conducting services Father Dupont wears a dark robe and a 
black cap, with a cross fastened to his waist. Sometimes, during the mid 
dle of the sermon, spirits arrive and are given by him to members of the 
congregation, who begin singing, shouting, and dancing to the beat of a 
piano and the stamping of feet. Postures and movements of the dance, 
which appear indecent, are said to be caused by the spirits who enter and 
sway the bodies of both young and old. The climax of the dancing is 
reached when Father Dupont springs into action, his leaps and gyrations 
exceeding those of the others both in speed and intensity. After this out 
burst there are prayers, confessions, and invocations. 

The four days of services held at St. Michael s No. 9 are not devoted 
exclusively to preaching, as the following statement by one of the assist 
ant fathers proves: 

Y all know Friday is our hoodoo night. Amen ! Sunday is prayer night, 
when y all comes jes to pray. Ya also come heah on Wednesday night to 
pray, but Monday and Friday is the hoodoo days. 

On the hoodoo nights, after the usual preliminaries, the lights are 
turned out while Father Dupont preaches some such sermon as the 
following : 

1 Ah m tellin all of ya, if ya never git on yo knees to pray, ya had better 
learn how now an pray some. Ah mean, stay on yo knees on Monday an 
Friday an do yo sef some prayin . Cause if ya ain t on yo knees prayin 
fo yo enemies, dey s on dere knees prayin fo ya an Ah m tellin ya, 
good sisters an brothers, yo enemies ain t prayin fo nuthin good bout 
ya. So Ah says fo ya to pray! Do ya heah? PRAY! 

The people respond, Amen! O Lawd, hab mussy, Jesus! and begin to 

Some Negro Cults 211 

Pray, pray, oh, help me pray 
That my Savior will help me on dis day. 
O, say pray, oh pray, help me pray. 
Father, sisters and brothers, help me pray. 
I don t want to get religion 
But I just want to pray. 
So pray, pray, pray. 

Father then proceeds with the sermon: Now, ya kin say dat ya don 
belieb in hoodoo dat nobody kin be hoodooed. Ah kin hoodoo ya, an 
anybody else kin dat knows how to do hoodoo. If ya don belieb me, jes 
lemme know an Ah ll show ya! 

Ya know some people say dat man s lyin ; he cain tdo nobody no 
harm. Well, Ah m tellin ya, sisters and brothers, Ah kin do ya harm 
where anybody says a good word fo ya, Ah ll say two bad ones agin ya. 
So don say nobody cain t harm ya! 

Ya knows Ah kin do hoodoo, but Ah does it private, an git paid fo 
ma wuk. Now if anybody heah want me to do any hoodoo fo dem, jes 
see me private. 

Dere s somebody by dat winder over dere dat s got religion, but dey s 
fraid to git up an say so. Le s he p dis sister out. Come on, le s sing an 
shout. God Called Adam is whut she needs. 

Adam was in the garden 
He didn t hab nothin to worry bout. 

Eve made Adam sin an dat s when de trubble begun to start. 
God called Adam, Adam refused to answer. 
God called Adam, Adam refused to answer. 
The second time God called Adam 
Adam said, "Here am I, Lawd, 
I m most done packin mah crosses." 

Then, with songs and ejaculations from the congregation, and admo 
nitions from the father to be sho to come bac Monday, the curtain falls 
on another of the amazing services of the New Orleans Negro spiritual 


ALL early travelers to New Orleans who recorded their impressions found 
it a gay town. Some welcomed this gaiety; others looked upon it with 
marked disapproval. New Orleans was a French and Spanish city for 
almost a century before it became part of the United States. From its 
founders it inherited a Latin joie de viwe, as well as a freedom from certain 
types of race prejudice; and its position as a seaport added to its cosmo 
politan sophistication. Deservedly or. not New Orleans early acquired a 
reputation as a wicked city. 

The freedom from race prejudice gave rise to many unusual customs. 
By Governor Miro s time (1785-92), New Orleans, then a city of less than 
eight thousand, had fifteen hundred free, unmarried women of color. 
Free men of color had grown numerous enough by 1815 to form a regi 
ment and to play a creditable part in the defense of the city. 

During the entire first half of the nineteenth century, the quadroons 
consorted for merrymaking and display in the balls, which took place 
first in the Salle St. Philippe on St. Philip Street, and at a later date in a 
large brick building situated on Orleans Street, between Royal and 
Bourbon. In those days the ballroom was connected with the old Orleans 
Theatre and Opera .House. The building still stands, but today, by a 
twist of irony, its atmosphere is sanctified. It is the Convent of the Sis 
ters of the Holy Family, a school for mulatto children conducted by 
mulatto nuns. 

No social stigma was attached to the quadroon balls in their heyday. 
They were conducted with great propriety and distinct elegance. Su 
premely exclusive, like many a Parisian salon of the same or earlier 
periods, but on a slightly altered scale, they were simply gatherings 
of the town s wealthy white young men and their present or prospective 
mistresses. From all accounts, the balls seem to have been gay, lavish, 


riUMN! V S\\ I 







Drawing by Caroline Durieux 



nr<i u. in<i h\ Carol u 


n-inf by Caroline Durieux 


Drawing by Caroline Durie*. 







a /wc >1 \ I ii olint Durieux 



Drawing by Caroline Duri 


Gay Times in Old New Orleans 213 

even fabulous, but highly decorous affairs. And well may they have been 
so, for the quadroon mistresses were often creatures of rare beauty and 
distinction, meriting even the glance of royalty. The Duke of Saxe- 
Weimar describes them as follows: 

A quadroon is the child of a mestize mother and a white father, as a 
mestize is the child of a mulatto mother and a white father. The quadroons 
are almost entirely white; from their skin no one could detect their origin; 
nay, many of them have as fair a complexion as many of the haughty 
Creole females. Such of them as frequent these balls are free. Formerly 
they were known by their black hair and eyes, but at present there are 
completely fair quadroons male and female. Still, however, the strongest 
prejudice reigns against them because of their black blood, and the white 
ladies maintain, or affect to maintain, the most violent aversion toward 

When a young white man took a fancy to one of these girls, he ap 
proached her mother, and having given satisfactory proof of his ability 
to keep the girl in becoming style, struck a bargain with the old woman. 
Money changed hands, and the quadroon regarded this arrangement in 
the same light as a marriage. The young man established a home for his 
mistress in the quadroon quarter, which was in that section of the Vieux 
Carre below Orleans Street and near the Ramparts, and enjoyed all the 
comforts and amenities thereof without actually residing there himself. 
This arrangement lasted as long as he wished it so. The placee, as she was 
called, took her friend s name, which was also given to their children, 
many of whom were reared in an atmosphere of culture, and were often 
sent to Paris to be educated. The young girls were particularly well 
schooled in the arts of courtesanship so that they could follow in their 
mothers footsteps. 

Quadroon mistresses had their quadroon friends and amusements, and, 
of course, the quadroon balls; but they could not mix with the white 
ladies, could not sit down in their presence, nor ride through the streets 
in carriages. A white woman could have a quadroon whipped like a slave 
upon accusation borne out by two witnesses. Quadroon men were never 
allowed to attend the balls. Scorned by women of their own class as well 
as by whites, they either followed some trade in the city or went into the 
country on plantations. They usually married mulatto women. 

When the young white man decided it was time to marry, he simply 
broke off his arrangement and was free to make another alliance. Some 
men continued the arrangement even after marriage by maintaining two 
homes, one in each section of the city. Some really loved their quadroon 
mates and never married at all. 

214 Economic and Social Development 

According to Harriet Martineau, writing in 1837, the quadroon con 
nection was all but universal; every young man early selects one and es 
tablishes her in one of those pretty and peculiar houses, whole rows of 
which may be seen in the ramparts. 

Twenty years later, Frederick Law Olmstead describes this Creole 
institution in virtually the same words, but adds a characteristic Yankee 
touch. He tells of meeting a northern drummer who claimed that he 
always made an arrangement of this character while in New Orleans be 
cause it was cheaper than living in hotels and boarding-houses. 

These women were not prostitutes. White enough to refuse to mix 
with the Negroes, since the law forbade their marriage with white men 
they apparently had no alternative but to become the mistresses of white 
men who were willing to support them. They regarded such arrange 
ments in the same light as marriage and are said to have been generally 
faithful to their bargain. When their lovers broke off the relationship 
they sometimes took another friend, but usually they drifted into the 
rooming-house business, in which they were very successful. Even as late 
as the Cotton Exposition of 1884, they were favorably known for their 
success in this line. 

After the Civil War the quadroon balls lost their former character. 
Tinker describes a visit to one of them which Lafcadio Hearn made in 
1880. It was conducted by a noted procuress named Hermina in an old 
mansion on Bienville Street, between Burgundy and Dauphine Streets. 
A new era that of the honky-tonk had long since gained the ascend 
ancy. The Reconstruction Era worked such devastating havoc upon 
the fortunes of Southern white aristocracy that they were hard put to 
shift for themselves, let alone maintain luxurious institutions in ante 
bellum style. Besides, the decades following the War brought a steadily 
increasing influx of Northern ideas and customs to the South, so that by 
1880 the quadroon balls had lost all their old-time glamour. 

The first tenderloin section of New Orleans was in Gallatin Street, a 
short alley that runs from the French Market to the Mint, between 
North Peters and Decatur Streets. Its proximity to the river front long 
ago helped to earn for Gallatin Street a most unsavory reputation, which 
clung to it until about 1900. Prostitutes from every nation gathered there, 
living a life of boisterous lawlessness and open vice. In recent years it 
became a street of empty houses, the lower floors of which were some 
times used for the storage of produce. In 1936 the houses on the river side 
of Gallatin Street were torn down to make way for new market buildings. 

As the city grew in size disorderly houses gained footholds in other sec- 

Gay Times in Old New Orleans 215 

tions. About 1850, some of them were driven off Canal Street. A news 
paper account of the great fire of 1851, when the St. Charles Hotel and 
many other buildings were burned, mentions the destruction of two houses 
of ill fame on Poydras Street next to the Methodist Church. Commer 
cialized vice often followed in the wake of disappearing respectability. 
Fine old homes, once occupied by the city s elite, later became boarding 
houses as the neighborhoods changed, and still later, scattered havens of 
prostitution. Annunciation Square, residential sections of Camp, St. 
Charles, and Carondelet Streets, the famous 13 Buildings on Julia 
Street, on the uptown side between Camp and St. Charles where many of 
the prominent families of the forties and fifties made their homes, and 
many a fine home in the French section, all passed through this checkered 

The first action against immoral establishments was taken in 1817 by 
the city council, which imposed a fine on both woman and house-owner 
for disturbing the peace or occasioning scandal. In 1845 lewd women were 
forbidden to frequent or drink in coffee houses. In 1857 a detailed ordi 
nance was passed, defining the limits beyond which prostitution would 
not be tolerated, imposing taxes on the inmates and house-owners, and 
requiring that each woman should take out a yearly license, to be issued 
to her by the Mayor upon proof that her taxes had been paid. White 
women and free women of color were forbidden to live in the same house. 
Standing or sitting on the sidewalk in indecent posture, and the accosting 
of passersby, were prohibited under penalty of a fine or jail sentence. 

The territorial limits prescribed at that time are interesting. They 
were: Felicity Road, Hercules (South Rampart), New Canal (New 
Basin), Claiborne, and Canal Streets in the First District; Canal, Basin, 
Toulouse, and Bayou St. John (Carondelet Canal), Esplanade and 
Toulouse in the Second District; Esplanade, Broad, and Elysian Fields 
Streets in the Third District. These boundaries indicate that the estab 
lishments in Basin Street were of an early origin. 

Following the emancipation of Negro slaves and the legalization of 
gambling in Louisiana in 1869, social life in the New Orleans underworld 
assumed a new status. Centralization began anew, and the restricted 
* district was but a step ahead. An eyewitness gives us a graphic picture 
of Royal Street during the Cotton Exposition of 1884: 

Brilliantly lighted by a new electric flare system, the street is thronged 
with men of all classes, who enter or emerge from its many saloons and 
gambling houses, which throb with the raucous sounds of pleasure-bent 
men and women. Timid crowds of men stand upon the curbstone to catch 

2i6 Economic and Social Development 

a glimpse of female limbs draped in gauze of pink and blue . . . Arrayed 
in scant garments, but gorgeous in combinations of color, are young and 
middle-aged; youthful and fresh, together with wearied and worn, whited 
sepulchers; watching among the throng which enters, those whom their 
judgment dictates have money to spend or throw away upon them in 
remuneration for a display of their utter unconsciousness of virtue. 

During the reform agitation of the eighties and nineties a school of 
thought developed which advocated a restricted district for the better 
control of prostitution. This plan finally found expression in an ordi 
nance, sponsored by Alderman Story, and passed by the city council on 
January 26th, 1897, at the first session under Mayor Flower. Definite 
limits were set down for the district, but even so, residence there was 
not legalized, so that the city held complete control of the situation. The 
theory was that all prostitutes could be confined within these limits, 
policed, and controlled, and that thus the evil could be kept in hand. This 
theory was not entirely successful in practice, for houses of assignation 
were to be found elsewhere, sometimes on the finest residential streets. 
Nevertheless the restricted district soon became one of the most amazing 
spectacles of legalized vice that had ever been seen. 

The limits of the district, as defined by the ordinance, were: the south 
side of Custom House (Iberville) Street, from Basin to Robertson Streets, 
east side of Robertson Street from Customhouse to St. Louis Streets, 
south side of St. Louis from Robertson to Basin. At first the Negroes and 
mulattoes were allowed in certain sections of the restricted district, but 
on March i, 1917, a restricted Negro district was established. The bound 
aries were: Perdido Street to the lower side of Gravier, and from the river 
side of Franklin to the wood side of Locust (Liberty). 

The restricted district enjoyed a legal existence from 1897 to 1917. 
During those two decades it attained the zenith of its fame; it was the 
show place and scandal of the city. Visitors from near and far, lured by 
the tales of wantonness and tinseled gaiety, almost invariably included 
the district in their itinerary. Depending upon their temperaments and 
viewpoints, they left elated or appalled by the scenes they had witnessed, 
scenes that usually far surpassed even their most fantastic expectations. 
To the average well-bred native Orleanian, however, the district was no 
thing of beauty ; it was merely a rather bad civic sore, which one was 
aware of but avoided. It was a world of honky-tonks and dives/ 
palaces, and cribs, sordid indeed, but militantly gay and carefree. 
Jazz and swing music are said to have originated in the dance halls and 
saloons of New Orleans red light district. 

Gay Times in Old New Orleans 217 

At Carnival time, and especially on Mardi Gras Day, the district 
opened its arms to welcome everyone. King Zulu, leader of the Negro 
carnival celebration, had his headquarters in the black section of the 
district, back toward Robertson and St. Louis Streets. Maskers thronged 
its streets and peals of celebrations rang from every house. In other 
seasons, the district flourished only at night, for it was drab and deserted 
by day. As it adjoined the tracks leading into the Terminal Station on 
Canal Street, visitors arriving in the city were treated to a broadside view 
of its palaces and glimpses up side streets of the crib sections, before 
they saw much else; and respectable citizens who otherwise never went 
near the place furtively surveyed the scene when departing on, or return 
ing from, a trip. 

The restricted district was ironically dubbed Storyville in honor of 
the alderman whose ordinance created it. Storyville s central spot was 
the Arlington Annex, Tom Anderson s main saloon, at the corner of 
Customhouse and Basin Streets, adjoining the Arlington palace. The 
Annex was figuratively the city hall of Storyville, and Tom Anderson 
was its mayor. He bossed the restricted district and in addition was a 
member of the State Legislature, the owner of a chain of saloons, and the 
head of an oil company. 

In Arlington Annex one could obtain for twenty-five cents a copy of the 
Blue Book, official directory and guide to Storyville. The Blue Book listed 
in alphabetical order and in separate sections respectively the names and 
addresses of all the prostitutes in the place. It also contained many adver 
tisements from local and national distillers and cigarmakers, as well as 
a few from neighboring drugstores and taxi companies. Most enticing of 
all Blue Book contents, however, were the puffs and occasional photo 
graphs, which extolled the graces and qualifications of Storyville s most 
prominent sirens. 

Why visit the playhouse to see the famous Parisian models, urged 
one of these, when one can see the French damsels, Norma and Diana? 
Their names have been known on both continents, because everything 
goes as it will, and those that cannot be satisfied with these must surely 
be of a queer nature. Another assures the reader that he can travel 
from one end of this continent to the other, but to find another good 
fellow as game as Gipsy (Shaffer), who is always ready to receive and 
entertain, will be almost an impossibility. A third proclaims that Miss 
May Spencer has the distinction of conducting one of the best establish 
ments in the Tenderloin District, where swell men can be socially enter 
tained by an array of swell ladies. If you have the blues, says a fourth, 

218 Economic and Social Development 

the Countess (Willie Piazza) and her girls can cure them. And so 
they went on and on, each mistress attempting to outdo her rivals in 
luring the wealthy sport to her palace of joy. 

Two other publications in the flush times of the district contained, 
together with much more reporting of the Police Gazette kind, notices of 
the doings of the prostitutes, prominent and obscure. In 1894, the 
Mascot, the more important of the two, inaugurated a Society column in 
which the gay whirl of life on the turf was reported. The Sunday Sun, 
the other of these weeklies, soon followed suit with a Chat column. 

Having purchased a copy of the Blue Book from the Annex, one 
could go down the line on Basin Street, where the exclusive mansions 
stood, or along Custom House (Iberville) Street, where rows and rows 
of cribs stretched out before him. The Basin Street palaces were 
lavishly furnished in the barbaric taste of the inhabitants. Heavily 
carved plush-covered furniture, and gaudy tapestries and drapes, pro 
vided a rococo atmosphere that was further accentuated by massive gilt 
statuary, ivory curios, leopard-skin rugs, potted palms, and cut-glass 
candelabra. Everything was in the worst possible taste. But to the 
various Spanish, French, Italian, Egyptian, and Octoroon damsels as well 
as their sundry mistresses, their environs rivaled the courts of kings. 

This entertainment offered a direct contrast to that provided in the 
cribs/ which were bare one-room affairs that abutted on the sidewalk, 
and contained nothing more than a bed, a table, and a chair. There were 
from twenty to thirty cribs in a single block ancient structures with a 
common roof and low-hanging eaves. The barest of them, however, 
brought a rental of at least seventy-five dollars a month. 

But whatever the crib sections lacked in quality and distinctiveness, 
they more than made up for in volume, boisterousness, amdjoie de vivre. 
The women were not permitted to Jeave the house, so they solicited 
vocally from behind doorways and window blinds. Those who went to 
see caught glimpses of beckoning hands and chalk-white faces in the 
poorly illumined rooms along the row. Some cribs outshone others by 
the variety and arrangement of red light bulbs that glowed in their 
interiors, but for the most part they presented a striking uniformity in 
every respect. Eventually in some sections restrictions as to color dis 
appeared, and whites and blacks and all the possible variations were to be 
found in the same block. 

From dance halls and saloons came the jangling of pianos and the 
shuffling sounds of dancers. Dice games were always in progress. Gruff 
voices of men and high-pitched tones of women intermingled in argument 

Gay Times in Old New Orleans 219 

or laughter. Drunks who had spent or lost all their money were shoved 
away from one place after another until a policeman took them into 
custody. Finally, in the small hours of the morning, the last visitor made 
his rounds of the houses the rent collector who would listen to no excuse 
and whose business methods were ruthless. 

Storyville today is not as we have here depicted it. In the last twenty 
years, its inhabitants have undergone many vicissitudes; its palaces and 
cribs have become decaying hulks. Many have disappeared altogether 
to make way for the increasing spread of automobile parking grounds. 

On the heels of much persistent vice-crusading by Miss Jean Gordon 
and other civic leaders for the suppression of the restricted district, 
came a request from Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy under 
President Wilson, urging, as a war measure, the large cities of the nation 
to curb all forms of vice. A local ordinance therefore closed the district 
officially on October 10, 1917. The red-light district never regained its 
pre-war legal status. 

That this is so can easily be demonstrated ; for where can one find the 
equals of former celebrated procuresses? Countess Willie Piazza, under 
whose roof a Central-American revolution was hatched, is dead. She is 
dead and her gilded mirrors and green plush chairs and white piano sold 
at auction; the piano, badly in need of tuning, going for $1.25. Josie 
Arlington was buried in and later removed from Metairie Cemetery, but a 
bronze maiden, representative of the virgins whom Josie never allowed in 
her house, still knocks in vain on the door of her tomb; and a legend which 
tells of a red light mysteriously issuing from the grave is current. Tom 
Anderson s name is in tile on the corner of Iberville and Saratoga Streets, 
and Lulu White s name may still be seen cut in the glass transom of her 
palace at 235 Basin Street; but the palace is now a warehouse. When Beth 
Brown wrote For Men Only in 1930, her heroine, Lily Love, flourished in 
the whalebone period, as did Mae West in her cinematic portrayal of 
another sporting house Lulu, in * Belle of the Nineties, which at first 
was to be called * Belle of New Orleans/ The Basin Street Blues hark 
back with a nostalgic wail to an era dead and gone. 

\Von t-cha come a-long with me, 

To the Mis-sis-sip-pi? 

We ll take the boat to the Ian of dreams, 

Steam down the river down to New Orleans; 

The bands there to meet us, 

Old friends to greet us, 

Where all the light and the dark folks meet 

This is Ba-sin Street. 

Basin Street Blues* 


THERE is not a day in the year when flowers are not to be seen in some 
New Orleans garden. The warm, humid climate of the city and the fertile 
alluvial soil have combined to produce a luxuriance and variety of plant 
growth that astonishes visitors. New Orleans, originally a cypress swamp, 
is now noted for the extreme diversity of its plant life. As one garden au 
thority has said, Almost everything from tropical palms to Himalayan 
deodars and Arctic cedars thrives here/ 

Seasonal changes are comparatively inconspicuous. Many of the trees, 
shrubs, and vines are evergreen. Flowering seasons overlap each other; 
poinsettias are sometimes still blooming in the summer, dahlias in the 
spring; and common annuals frequently become biennials. 

Wild trees, shrubs, grasses, herbs, and vines, primarily subtropical bog 
and water types, flourish in the outlying undrained areas. Live oaks, 
heavy with Spanish moss, stand in palmetto thickets; tall cypress trees 
raise their knees above the waters of the swamps on which the lavender 
water hyacinth floats; white and pink mallows, blue and copper-colored 
irises, yellow pond lilies, and orange-flowered trumpet vines are of fre 
quent occurrence on the outskirts of the city proper. 

Extraordinarily well favored by nature, New Orleans, as a garden city, 
has in recent times been greatly aided by engineering science. Its modern 
drainage program, particularly, has borne interesting horticultural re 
sults. A few native trees, principally cypress and tupelo gum, and numer 
ous wild flowering herbs and marsh grasses tend to disappear as sub-sur 
face water is withdrawn. This reclamation, essential to the growth of cer 
tain introduced varieties, does not, however, interfere with the luxuriant 

Gardens 221 

growth of most of the native plants. Today in the parks and residential 
sections, transplanted Louisiana wild flowers and traditional garden plants 
grow side by side with strange exotic flora. 

Live oaks and Spanish moss are everywhere. Streets and neutral 
grounds are planted with camphor trees, magnolias, crepe myrtles, and 
oleanders. The latter, with its leathery green leaves and its flowers vary 
ing from white to a deep rose, was introduced by the Spanish in the eight 
eenth century, and has been made the city s official flower. There are 
nineteen varieties of palms, ranging from the towering Cocos australis to 
the scrubby * sago palm, the fronds of which all good Catholics carry to 
church on Palm Sunday. 

New Orleans gardens, aside from those of the Vieux Carre, are of two 
kinds: the old-fashioned Southern type, fragrant with jasmine, camellias, 
magnolias, and sweet olive; and the newer landscaped type, almost con 
tinuously vivid with roses, lilies, irises, cannas, azaleas, poinsettia, 
wistaria, and a variety of showy annuals. Tropical and subtropical growths 
that enhance the brilliance of many New Orleans gardens include rosa 
montana (Antigonon), yellow bignonia (cat s claw), purple bignonia 
(clytostoma), mimosa, and Parkinsonia. 

When the Garden District was planned in the early i82o s, homes were 
laid out in spacious grounds so rilled with flowers as to resemble an im 
mense park. This gave the section the name it still bears. Much of the 
original beauty of this District has faded with time, but many handsome 
old gardens are still to be seen. The more pretentious gardens are now 
centralized in the newer residential sections, particularly along the upper 
part of St. Charles Avenue and some of the streets crossing it. The hidden 
gardens in the courtyards of the Vieux Carre, green throughout the year 
with ivy, palms, oleanders, banana plants (the fruit of which never ripens 
in New Orleans), Japanese plums, and yucca; and the hanging gardens 
on the iron balconies of some of the French Quarter homes are of particu 
lar interest. 

The New Orleans Garden Society conducts a tour every year on the 
Sunday before Mardi Gras, and another one in connection with a flower 
show early in April. Visits to some of the best private gardens of the city 
are included. Tickets are a dollar for those having their own cars, and 
two dollars for those using buses. 

The gardens in these tours differ from year to year. The listing that 
follows is merely representative of the types of gardens that have been 
included in tours of the past. Individual tourists may visit most of these 
gardens at other times as specified. 

222 Economic and Social Development 

Garden District 

Jackson Ave. to Louisiana Ave., St. Charles Ave. to Magazine St. This general 
neighborhood may be. reached by Jackson or St. Charles Ave. street-cars 
from Canal and Baronne Sts. (see Motor Tour 4.) 

David B. Fischer s Garden, 1122 Jackson Ave. (visitors admitted free). 
The visitor will find the garden of Mr. Fischer one of the highlights of his 
tour of the city regardless of the season. Here one finds a riot of flowers 
blooming all the year round, and some of the most beautiful azaleas to be 
found in the city. Near the entrance are a large fountain and pool, and at 
the back is another rock-bordered pool surrounded by flowering shrubs. 
A walk lined with flowers on either side leads through the garden. 

Mrs. David W. Pipes, 1238 Philip St. (one block above Jackson Ave.; 
visitors admitted free) . One of the oldest and most beautiful gardens of this 
neighborhood is that at the home of Mrs. Pipes, who has made a specialty 
of camellias. For more than twenty years she has been collecting those 
varieties most popular in ante-bellum days, and now has one of the largest 
collections of camellias in New Orleans. Many of the bushes in this garden 
are seventy to one hundred years old, several being descendants of the 
first plants brought over from France in Colonial times. One variety, in 
which the owner takes especial pride, was transplanted from an ancestral 
home in West Feliciana Parish. These older, sturdier varieties present a 
marked contrast to the more developed types. 

Mrs. Thomas Terry, 1417 Third St. (three blocks up Prytania St. from 
Philip St., half block to the right; visitors admitted free). The diversified 
garden of Mrs. Thomas Terry is a typical semi-tropical garden which has 
twice won awards from the Garden Society of New Orleans for its ar 
rangement and beauty. At the rear of a plant-bordered swimming pool 
are a number of flower beds, irregularly grouped, containing a great 
variety of blossoming shrubs. 

Audubon Park District 

Audubon Park (Formal garden and live oak avenue section reached by 
Magazine car from Canal and Magazine Sts. Landscaped section, planted 
with large variety of trees and shrubs, reached by St. Charles Ave. car from 
Canal and Baronne Sts.). For flower-lovers two important points of in 
terest are Odenheimer Court and the Aquarium presented to the city by 
Sigmund Odenheimer. Popp Gardens, situated near the center of the 
Magazine St. section, attract many visitors because of the typical South 
ern garden flowers. Around Hygeia Fountain is a profusion of dwarf 
orange and banana trees, arbor vitae, magnolias, mimosas, and crepe myr 
tles. An iris study field is located behind Popp Gardens east of the aquar 
ium. Audubon Park is also noted for its magnificent live oaks. The 
oldest of these, * George Washington, measures 28 feet and 6 inches in 
circumference, and is considered the second largest in Louisiana. 

Audubon Place (residential subdivision, St. Charles^ Ave. entrance op 
posite Audubon Park). Many gardens flank the parkway and double drive 

Gardens 223 

of Audubon Place. Handsome palms, water oaks, and exotic evergreens 
fill the parkway. Smooth lawns and fine trees and shrubbery are con 
tinuous between the homes. The Spanish patio and rockery of Mr. and 
Mrs. Henry C. Flonacher, at No. 27 Audubon Place, is noteworthy. Be 
yond the Moorish facade of the home lies a landscaped rock garden with 
a sunken pool below. Behind the stone fountain there is a weeping willow 
tree, while the entire garden is shadowed by fan palms, banana clumps, 
and East Indian bamboo. A small camphor tree, against a rocky inter 
vening slope, provides foliage contrast. Cedars, Chinese paper plants, 
oleanders, and crotons are included in this shrubbery group. Bushy kum- 
quat, Japanese plum, yellow jasmine, and flowering almond blend ad 
mirably with the Moorish architectural effect. 

Mrs. C. S. Williams, 1912 State St. (four blocks downtown from lower 
boundary of Audubon Park at St. Charles Ave. to State St. and turn left; 
only visitors with Garden Society cards admitted). One of the best examples 
of New Orleans winter gardens will be found at the home of Mrs. Wil 
liams, who has taken great pride in semi-tropical plants and flowers. 
Early in January azaleas and camellias are in full bloom, and border 
plantings of narcissus and violets make the garden one of the loveliest in 
this neighborhood. 

Mrs. G. C. Atkins, 3008 Calhoun St. (continue on State St. to S. Clai- 
borne Ave.; left from State on Claiborne to Calhoun St.; visitors admitted free). 
This garden, now under the care of Mrs. Atkins, was the private experi 
mental garden of the late George Thomas, who developed and cultivated 
plants rarely found in Louisiana. Among his collection were summer- 
blooming bulbs, and Texas and Mexican shrubs infrequently grown in this 
State. Mrs. Atkins now has one of the finest collections of azaleas to be 
found in New Orleans. 


All points within walking distance from Canal and Royal Sts. 

Perhaps the loveliest gardens in New Orleans are those found in the 
courtyards of the French Quarter. Flowers, vines, and shrubs of every 
description grow in profusion in patios hidden from the street. Pools, 
fountains, trellises, and Spanish ollas, or oil jars, add beauty to the florai 
settings. Among the finest gardens of this section are those found at the 
Reed Galleries, 520 Royal St., the Court of the Two Sisters, 615 Royal St., 
the Courtyard of the Twisted Vine, 614 Chartres St., Le Petit Thedtre Du 
Vieux Carre, 616 St. Peter St., Madame John s Legacy, 632 Dumaine St., 
823 Royal St., 731 Royal St., and the Grima House, 820 St. Louis St. 
(See French Quarter Tour.) 

A tour of gardens in the Vieux Carre might well end on the other side 
of Canal St. in the heart of the business district, where the tourist will 

224 Economic and Social Development 

find a number of fine office patios, particularly at the Association of Com 
merce, 315 Camp St., the Guardian Homestead Association, 624 Poydras 
St., and behind the office at 822 Per dido St. Visitors are always welcome, 
and there is no admission charge. 


City Park (Esplanade bus from Canal and Burgundy Sts., or City Park 
street-car from Canal and Bourbon Sts.). Here one finds a lovely formal 
rose garden with a recently constructed pool and fountain enclosing a 
symbolic statue by Enrique Alferez, local sculptor, and the City Park 
Conservatories, where a large variety of tropical, semi-tropical and exotic 
plants are grown. In March a vanilla plant and a beautiful flame vine 
(Mexican bignonia) bloom, and some years a large Monstera deliciosa 
may be seen laden with its rare, heavy fruit. At the rear of the Delgado 
Museum thousands of mixed native and imported irises, which have been 
dedicated to a former New Orleans poet and newspaper woman, Pearl 
Rivers, bloom each April. The celebrated Dueling Oaks/ giant live 
oaks, are also to be seen in the park. 

New Orleans Parkway Commission Nurseries, Gentilly Road between Mt. 
Olivet Cemetery and Dillard University (Cemeteries or West End car from 
any place on Canal St.; transfer to northbound bus at Broad St.; free ad 
mission). The 5o-acre tract comprising the Parkway Commission Nur 
series contains an unusual assortment of ornamental and decorative 
shrubs which has for many years supplied parks and neutral grounds of 
the city. Within the grounds are acres of young cedars, Japanese plums, 
willows, palms, pines, sycamores, chinaberries, and azaleas. Here also 
are a number of greenhouses sheltering cacti and other delicate plants 
and shrubs. In May a lotus pool facing Gentilly Road is a mass of white 
blossoms, attracting scores of tourists who pause to admire the spectacle. 
An azalea trail designed to extend straight through the entire tract of 
land comprising the nurseries has been almost completed. 

Charles Mauthe s private cactus farm and greenhouse, 2934 De Soto St. 
(Esplanade bus from Canal and Burgundy Sts. to N. Dupre St.; walk left 
half a block and right half a block on De Soto St.; visitors admitted free) . There 
are many rare species in Mr. Mauthe s collection, which is one of the more 
notable floral exhibits of New Orleans. 

E. A. Farley, 4300 Mandeville St. (Cemeteries or West End car from any 
place on Canal St.; transfer to northbound bus at Broad St.; admission and 
guide service free) . Mr. Farley specializes in orchid culture. Here maybe 
seen an admirable collection of rare specimens of orchids in varying stages 
of maturity. A visit to the nursery during the Christmas holidays will 
amply repay one for his time and trouble. At this time the orchid plants 
may be studied in all their stages, and while they have no natural blooming 
period, a long and expensive process of artificial culture will induce the 
plants to blossom at the most profitable season. 



Percy Viosca, Jr., 2940 Dreux Ave., Gentilly (Gentilly street-car from 
Canal and Bourbon Sts.). Here Mr. Viosca, author of Delta Irises and 
their Culture and The Irises of Southeastern Louisiana, maintains a large 
experimental iris garden. The owner is glad to show iris students over his 
garden and explain phases of iris culture. 

Frank Carroll, R.F.D. No. 4. Old Gentilly Road (Cemeteries or West 
End car from any place on Canal St.; transfer to northbound Gentilly- 
Broad bus at Broad St.; admission free) . Mr. Carroll maintains a private 
farm of native wild iris and has some exceedingly rare colors. 


Mrs. Edgar B. Stern, n Metairie Lane (Cemeteries or West End car from 
any place on Canal St.; transfer to Metairie bus at Canal St. and City Park 
Ave.; open only during Carnival season). This place is noted for its plant 
ings of azaleas and camellias, its old-fashioned Creole garden, and its 
orchid greenhouses. Much of the garden can be seen from the street at any 

Mrs. Harold Newman, 600 lona St. (walk out Metairie Road to Du- 
plessis St.; left on Duplessis St. three blocks to lona St.; admission secured 
through the owner). Here one finds an unusual collection of beautiful 
Creole camellias of varying size and colors, as well as many other shrubs 
and flowers. The garden may be seen, from the street, directly in front of 
the home. 



NOTE: The French Quarter can best be seen on foot, but the complete tour 
given below can hardly be covered with ease in one morning or afternoon. If 
the tourist has a limited time, the best plan is to walk down Royal from Canal 
to St. Peter, out St. Peter to Chartres and Jackson Square, and then up Chartres 
to Canal. Even if the visitor has only an hour or so between trains, something 
of the Vieux Carre can be seen by taking a cab to Jackson Square and walking 
about in the immediate vicinity. 

THAT portion of New Orleans lying north of Canal St. is called, para 
doxically, the downtown section of the city. In this area lies the French 
Quarter, or Vieux Carre (pronounced Vee-yuh Car-ray). The literal 
meaning of the term is Old Square, but since this section was originally 
the nucleus or principal part of New Orleans, and was occupied for the 
greater part by French-speaking people, it has become known as the 
French Quarter. 

Since the date of the founding of New Orleans has been disputed, Mr. 
Robert Usher, Librarian of the Howard Memorial Library, who is an 
authority on Louisiana history, has contributed the following paragraph: 

When was New Orleans founded? Most reference books give the date 
1718. It is only in recent years that there is found, here and there, some 
one who maintains that New Orleans was founded in 1717. These pro 
testers apparently rely chiefly on statements which appear in the work 
of Baron Marc Villiers du Terrage on the founding of New Orleans. This 
author says (Dawson s translation, Louisiana Historical Society Quarterly t 
vol. 3, 1920), So the date for the foundation of New Orleans may be fixed 
at pleasure anywhere between the spring of 1717 and the month of June, 
1722 ... The date 1717 is suggested because on October ist of that year 
the Marine Board, in co-operation with the Company of the West, appointed 
in Paris a cashier for the counter which was to be established at New 
Orleans, on the St. Louis (Mississippi) River. It is to be noted that even 

230 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

as late as April 14, 1718, no site had been selected for the contemplated 
town which was to be known as New Orleans (Louisiana Historical Quar 
terly, vol. 15, 1932, pp. 37-43, Sally Dart, French Incertitude in 1718 
as to a Site for New Orleans ). Some preferred that it should be at Manchac, 
others favored Biloxi. It is quite certain that no work had been done 
on the site of New Orleans until 1718. De Villiers concludes that the 
first construction work was carried out between March 15 and April 15, 
1718. It seems wise to accept De Villiers statement, which is, the surest 
date would appear to be 1718. If an official act providing for a town yet to 
be established and located may be considered as constituting a founding 
date, then, as De Villiers suggests, New Orleans might be said to date 
from the winter of 1715-16, when Crozat demanded that a post be founded 
where the city now stands; or even from 1702, in which year M. de Remon- 
ville proposed the creation of an establishment at the Mississippi Portage. 

When the plan of the Vieux Carre was imposed on the site, settlers had 
already established themselves, and there were disputes concerning the 
division of their land into city blocks. Credit for the plan, it is now gen 
erally agreed, should be given to Adrien de Pauger, an assistant engineer, 
and not to Le Blond de la Tour, Bienville s chief engineer, who opposed 
the establishment of New Orleans at this site. 

The Old Square is bounded on the south by Canal St., the dividing 
line between the French and American sections of the city. The northern 
boundary is Esplanade Ave., a magnificent tree-lined thoroughfare which 
was, half a century ago, the most aristocratic neighborhood of the French 
city. The western boundary is North Rampart St., and on the east lies 
the Mississippi River. 

At the four corners of the Vieux Carre forts were later erected to protect 
the city at its most strategic points. On the northern corner, at North 
Rampart and Barracks Sts., was Fort St. Jean; on the eastern corner, at 
Esplanade Ave. and Decatur St., Fort St. Charles; on the southern 
corner, at Canal and Decatur Sts., Fort St. Louis; and on the western 
corner, at Iberville and North Rampart Sts., Fort Bourgogne. On North 
Rampart St., halfway between Forts Bourgogne and St. Jean, Fort St. 
Ferdinand was later built, on what now is Beauregard Sq. 

To those who have paid a visit to the Crescent City, it is unnecessary to 
say that this section is the most picturesque and colorful part of New 
Orleans. This is the city of Gayarre, of Hearn, and of Cable men whose 
genius have made the French Quarter famous wherever the name New 
Orleans is known. 

The traditions and characteristics of the Spanish and French domina 
tions have been jealously preserved by the Creole element of New 
Orleans. Down through the generations have come stories of high-bred 
dames and gallant knights who laughed and sang and danced and loved, 
while the Fleur-de-lis of France floated from the flagstaff in the old 
Place d Armes. The quaint old Franco- Spanish town, despite much 
American remodeling, still retains a singular charm and an Old- World 
flavor peculiarly its own. 

French Quarter Tour 231 

Some of the tall brick buildings with their balconies of wrought-iron 
work have been standing a century and a half. Many are decrepit and 
dingy, with doors sagging and ironwork rust-eaten; many have been 
turned into night clubs, apartments, and rooming-houses; others have 
been invaded by petty tradesmen and shopkeepers; and still others are 
standing vacant and in ruins, gaunt specters of a charm and culture 
that are gone. A few are in the possession of the descendants of the 
original owners, or of others who appreciate their worth, and have been 
kept in good repair. 

The visitor will find in the French Quarter a strange and fascinating 
jumble of antique shops, flop houses, tearooms, wealthy homes, bars, 
art studios, night clubs, grocery stores, beautifully furnished apartments, 
and dilapidated flats. And he will meet debutantes, artists, gamblers, 
drunks, streetwalkers, icemen, sailors, bank presidents, and beggars. 
The Vieux Carre is definitely the place in New Orleans where people 
go to live their own lives. 

The architecture found in the Old Square is at variance with that of 
other sections of the country. But this is not surprising, since the archi 
tects of New Orleans, foreign-born and trained, had little in common 
with American traditions of the Atlantic seaboard. The architecture of 
the section is a subject that has appealed to numerous writers and has 
attracted scores of artists who have made the Vieux Carre their home. 
And the dungeon-like entrances, the narrow, winding stairways, and the 
flag-paved courtyards attract thousands of tourists yearly. 

Before 1800 there were few architects of note in New Orleans, but during 
the first half of the igth century the city boasted men widely recognized 
in this field. Among these were Latrobe, the De Pouillys, the Galliers, 
and the Dakins, all of whom were born in Europe and received their 
architectural training abroad. Most of the buildings erected under the 
direction of these men were of European styles, or fusions of two or more 
styles. The Spanish and French influences were, of course, predominant. 

The wrought-iron and cast-iron lacework decorating the galleries of 
these old buildings gives the architecture of New Orleans its great dis 
tinction. Vines, flowers, fruits, or Cupid s bow and arrow are favorite 
designs. In many of them may be seen the initials of the original owner 
hammered into the ironwork. Most of the structures are built of cement- 
covered brick, painted in light tones with the shutters and woodwork 
a rich green. Practically all of the older buildings include cool, shaded 
courtyards which are approached from the street through tunnel-like 
entrances paved with flags or brick. Palms, banana trees, and other 
semi-tropical shrubs are found growing in most of the patios. 

Downtown from Canal St. on Royal St. 

Royal Street. In the early Creole days Rue Royale was the main street of 
the French city. Under its overhanging balconies fashionable New 
Orleans strolled a century ago. Today, it is a street of curio dealers, 
perfume shops, and antique shops, where one can find beautiful speci- 

232 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

mens of old furniture, jewelry, chinaware, and firearms. It was in these 
shops that Eugene Field is said to have found his greatest solace and 

1. Old Sazerac House, 116 Royal Street. Before turning down Royal 
St. from Canal, the visitor passes Monkey Wrench Corner (downtown 
river corner), known to seamen all over the world as a meeting-place. 
Every major port has a corner so named. There yarns are swapped, and 
monkeys (unemployed sailors) put the wrench (borrow) to their more 
affluent fellow workers. Then one may pause for a glance at the birth 
place of the drink New Orleans made famous the Sazerac Cocktail. 
In 1859, when John B. Schiller opened his place at 13 Exchange Alley, 
the rear of 116 Royal St., he called his establishment the * Sazerac Coffee 
House after the brand of cognac he used, which was manufactured by 
Messrs. Sazerac-de-Forge et fils of Limoges, France. The old bar is now 
occupied by a barber shop, but the word l Sazerac may still be seen on 
the sidewalk. 

2. Old Cosmopolitan Hotel, 121 Royal Street. A few steps farther, on the 
opposite side of the street, stands a building now occupied by the St. 
Regis Restaurant, but which once housed the old Cosmopolitan Hotel. 
Half a century ago this was a favorite meeting-place for Latin-Ameri 
cans. In a building on this site, Dr. Francisco Antommarchi, the physi 
cian of Napoleon, had his home and office during the 1 830*8. Here the 
famous death mask of The Little Corporal was exhibited, a bronze 
copy of which may be seen in the Cabildo. In the front of the present 
structure are three memorial windows commemorating the champion 
chessplayer, Paul Morphy; the musician, Louis Moreau Gottschalk; 
and the famous ornithologist, John James Audubon. 

3. Merchants Exchange, 126 Royal Street. On the right-hand side of 
the street stands a marble-faced building erected a century ago by the 
well-known architects, Dakin and Gallier. This was known as the 
Merchants Exchange, and in its halls traders, auctioneers, gamblers, 
and merchants met for business transactions. In 1842 the ground floor 
was used as the U.S. Post Office, and later the exchange room on the 
second floor, which was topped by a beautifully proportioned dome, was 
occupied by the U.S. District Court. It was here that William Walker 
was tried in 1856 for his filibustering expeditions in Nicaragua. After 
his acquittal, Walker returned to Central America where he was cap 
tured and shot by Hondurans in 1860. 

Following the Civil War the old Merchants Exchange was turned into 
an elaborate gambling-house, known the country over as Number 18 
Royal Street. Today, the old Exchange is a quiet, inexpensive lodging- 
house, with little left to tell of the drama that once took place within 
its walls. 

4. The Gem, 127 Royal Street. Directly across the street from the Mer 
chants Exchange stands a building which won early fame for its bar. 
The establishment was built and opened for business by John Daniels 

French Quarter Tour 233 

and Alfred Arnold Pray in 1851, and soon became one of the most popu 
lar saloons of the city. Here, on January 10, 1857, was organized the 
Mistick Krewe of Comus, the first organization to give New Orleans a 
street parade at night during Carnival. It is claimed that a restaurant 
located here was the first in the city to serve midday meals, the old 
Spanish custom of closing business houses for the two-hour siesta having 
been adhered to previously. 

5. Department of Conservation Exhibit Rooms, 237 Royal Street. The 
exhibits of natural resources housed here are under the control of the 
Bureau of Education, Louisiana Department of Conservation. Visitors 
are admitted free between 9 and 4.30 on weekdays; Saturdays, 9-12. 

The exhibits of the Conservation Department are housed on two floors, 
and include a rather comprehensive and well-prepared display of fish, 
birds, animals, sea foods, minerals, forest products, and other natural 
resources of Louisiana. On the first floor are the fish, bird, and mammal 
collections, while on the second floor are the exhibits representing the 
oyster and shrimp industries, and such products as petroleum, salt, 
sulphur, sand, and shell. 

At the entrance to the building is a handsome window display of pelts 
and mounted fur-bearing animals, such as muskrats, skunks, raccoons, 
minks, and opossums. These are attractively arranged in settings and 
poses characteristic of the various animals. In the large exhibit room are 
nearly 350 species of birds indigenous to the State, most of which are 
excellent examples of taxidermy. Prominent among these are specimens 
of the great ivory-billed woodpecker, burrowing owl, heron, and duck. 

Models of the better-known game and food fishes of Louisiana waters 
form a frieze above the cases of birds and animals. Specimens showing 
the color variation of the Louisiana timber wolf may also be seen on 
this floor. 

Mineral and forestry exhibits occupy most of the space on the second 
floor, with several specimens of fauna, including a collection of fish in 
preservatives. There are numerous commercial exhibits, such as canned 
shrimp, oysters, and examples of crushed oyster shells. Several speci 
mens of sands, clays, and gravels used in building and paving may be 
seen, as well as exhibits of petroleum, sulphur, and many grades of salt. 

An interesting part of the exhibit shows examples of the various kinds of 
woods found in Louisiana. Among these are the long-leafed pine, short- 
leafed pine, oak, hickory, hackberry, maple, sycamore, magnolia, pecan, 
cypress, tupelo gum, cherry, and beech. These are illustrated with their 
various uses in construction and in the arts and trades. The by-products 
of the pine industry form an interesting display, with the oils, resins, 
and other products deposited by the sap stream. There are also examples 
of Spanish moss, which is used extensively as an upholstering material. 

L. from Royal St. on Bienville St. 

6. The Absinthe House, 238 Bourbon Street. Few buildings in the French 

234 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

Quarter have become better known than this structure to which, for 
sixty years, adventurers, traders, and Creole gentlemen flocked to sip 

The building was erected by Pedro Font and Francisco Juncadella, early 
in the igth century, as a combination residence and business establish 
ment, and despite numerous offers to purchase it, the property is still 
in the possession of the descendants of the original owners. Cayetano 
Ferrer, a native of Barcelona, who had won recognition while at the 
basement bar of the old French Opera House, was chief bartender here. 
Later he took a lease on the establishment, and it became known as the 
Absinthe Room. There is a legend that General Andrew Jackson 
and Jean Lafitte, the Baratarian smuggler, planned the defense of New 
Orleans here in a secret chamber on the second floor. The original stair 
case, erected with wooden pegs instead of nails, is still in use. The marble- 
topped bar, the old water dripper, the cash register, and the paintings 
that once adorned the walls are to be found at 400 Bourbon St. 

Return and continue on Royal St. 

7. Mallard s Furniture Store, 301-05-07 Royal Street. At the downtown 
lake corner of Bienville St. stands a red-brick structure where almost a 
century ago Prudent Mallard, a native of Sevres, France, carved and sold 
the furniture which is today so rare and expensive among the antiques 
of the city. 

Mallard was for many years one of the best-known furniture dealers of 
New Orleans, ranking with Francois Seignouret. Among his specialties 
was an elaborate dressing-table known as the Duchesse, which he 
carved from Central-American rosewood, or palissandre. As the name 
of Mallard gained wider recognition, wealthy planters purchased his 
mahogany chairs and settees, his great four-poster beds, and his exqui 
sitely carved armoires of rosewood. Today the building is occupied by the 
Bienville meat market. 

8. 312 Royal Street. The brick structure standing here was, in 1839, 
owned and occupied by John Slidell, of Trent Affair fame. The build 
ing is one of a group built by the Earl of Balcanes, soon after 1828. 

Slidell, a native of New York, came to New Orleans in 1819, and after a 
series of political contests finally succeeded in making himself virtually 
the political boss of Louisiana. He was captured with Mason aboard 
the British steamer Trent, while en route to England, and after his 
release he landed in France, where he formed a friendship with Napoleon 
III. Slidell was never allowed to return to America after the war. 

9. First U.S. Post Office, 333 Royal Street. Near the end of the third 
block of Royal, on the left-hand side of the street, is the site of the 
city s first U.S. Post Office. It was established in 1804 and was at that 
time * 23 Rue Royale. Mail was brought in from the north by riders 
and sailing vessels. 

10. 339 Royal Street. On the corner of Royal and Conti Sts. stands a 
building which dates back to 1800. The building in 1811 housed the 

French Quarter Tour 235 

Planters Bank, and in 1820 became a branch of the United States Bank 
of Philadelphia. In 1836 the property came into the possession of the 
New Orleans Gas Light and Banking Company, and it was from this 
concern that the bank acquired the name Gaz Bank by which it has 
since been known. 

The wrought-iron balcony railings constitute one of the best examples 
of the craft to be seen in New Orleans. There was originally a vaulted 
corridor which led into a large court, but this has recently been closed 
up with brick walls. Today the building houses the antique shop of 
Waldhorn and Company. 

11. Mortgage Office (American Legion Home), 344 Royal Street. The 
stately building standing at the right-hand corner of Royal and Conti 
Sts. was erected in 1826. It was the second institution to be known as 
the Bank of Louisiana and for many years was the city s financial center. 
With the crisis brought on by the Civil War, the bank was forced to 
close its doors. In 1871 the building became the Royal Street Auction 
Exchange, and later the Mortgage and Conveyance Office, the name 
by which it is best known to the older residents of the city. 

Following the World War, the building became the home of the local 
American Legion, and the interior underwent a number of changes and 
repairs to accommodate that organization. 

Architecturally, this building is one of the best on Royal St. In general 
it follows the lines of Graeco-Roman classicism, but it also reflects the 
architectural trend of the Old Square. Along the front of the stucco- 
covered brick edifice is a series of six lofty Ionic pilasters adorning the 
walls between the windows. It is said that the iron gates at the entrance 
are a facsimile of a pair at the garden entrance to Lansdowne House, 
Berkeley Square, London, which were designed for the Marquis of Lans 
downe in 1765. 

R.from Royal St. on Conti St. to Exchange Alley. 

Exchange Alley, originally extending to the St. Louis Cathedral, is now 
only three blocks in length, running from Canal to Conti St. It was in 
this alley that a number of noted fencing masters resided in the early 
days of New Orleans existence. The only remaining part of the alley 
in the vicinity of the Cathedral is a narrow passageway leading from 
the 600 block of St. Peter St. directly through to the Cathedral. 

Return on Conti St. to Bourbon St. 

12. Jwlah P. Benjamin s Home, 327 Bourbon Street. This three-story 
building was at one time the home of the eminent Jewish lawyer and 
statesman, Judah P. Benjamin. For many years Benjamin was an out 
standing figure in the South, serving as U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 
and during the last two years of the Civil War, as Secretary of State in 
the Confederacy. He has frequently been called the brains of the Con 
federacy, but when the Southern States were defeated he fled to England, 
an exile. At the British bar he attained wide recognition and was con 
sidered for elevation to the bench. 

236 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

The old mansion on Bourbon Street was built in 1835 by Auguste St. 
Martin, the father of Benjamin s wife. The most attractive feature of the 
building is the bow and arrow design which decorates the cast iron of the 

Return and continue on Royal St. 

13. The Old Bank of Louisiana, 401 Royal Street. On the downtown lake 
corner of Royal and Conti Streets stands an impressive structure which 
was erected in 1821 to serve as quarters for La Banque de VEtat de la 
Louisiane. This is the building known as the Antique Dome, so named by 
a furniture dealer because of the domed ceiling. 

The building was constructed from a design submitted by Benjamin 
Henry Bonneval Latrobe, who had assisted in designing the Capitol at 
Washington. Like the majority of other buildings in the Old Square, the 
Antique Dome is built of cement-covered brick. The wrought-iron bal 
cony railing with the monogram LSB is one of the most distinctive 
examples of the Creole style of decoration. At one time there was a 
spacious driveway admitting carriages into the courtyard, but this has 
since been walled up and the patio roofed over. 

14. The Rouquette Home, 413 Royal Street. This structure, a century and 
a quarter ago, was the home of one of New Orleans most prominent 
families the Rouquettes. Here in 1813 was born Adrien Rouquette, 
who became widely known and respected, both for his writings and for 
his missionary work among the Indians of St. Tammany Parish. Legend 
says that as a young man he loved an Indian maid of this tribe, and that 
after her death he decided to enter the priesthood. Tiring of his parish 
in New Orleans, he obtained permission to open a mission among the 
Indians, living like one of them, and adopting the name Chata-Ima 
(Choctaw-like) by which he is now better known. He remained a mis 
sionary until his death in 1887. 

On the balcony railing may be seen the original owner s monogram: DR.* 
The building is now occupied by the Diamond Antique Shop. 

15. The Patio Royal, 417 Royal Street. Few buildings in the French 
Quarter are more interesting than the Patio Royal. 

The history of this building has been the subject of much conjecture and 
discussion, but Stanley Arthur has recently placed the date of its erection 
around 1801. The original owner was Don Jose Faurie, but four years 
later it was purchased by the president of the Banque de la Louisiane to 
house this organization, and the monogram LB enclosed in an octagon 
may still be seen on each end and in the center of the balcony railing. 

The building was next occupied by the socially and politically prominent 
Gordon family. When General Jackson revisited New Orleans in 1828, 
he was a guest of Martin Gordon, and the two became such intimate 
friends that after the general became President of the United States 
he made Gordon Collector of the Port of New Orleans. 

French Quarter Tour 237 

Later when Gordon met with financial reverses, the property came into 
the possession of Judge Morphy, father of the celebrated chess king. It 
was here that the child attained the skill that enabled him to defeat the 
world s foremost champions of the intricate game. 
The property is now owned by Tulane University. Recently a French 
restaurant was opened, and the old mansion was given the name Patio 
Royal. The courtyard is open to visitors. 

1 6. Peychaud s Drugstore, 437 Royal Street. Near the uptown lake corner 
of Royal and St. Louis Sts. stands an old building where in the early days 
a native of Santo Domingo served what is said to have been the first 
American cocktail. Stanley Arthur in his recent book, Old New Orleans, 
says that Peychaud, the apothecary, brought with him from Santo Do 
mingo a secret formula for compounding his bitters with cognac. The 
potion was mixed in an egg-shaped cup, the French name for which was 
coquetier. It is said that the incorrect pronunciation frequently given 
this term by the English resulted in the name cocktail being applied to 
the highly flavored drink. The old Peychaud pharmacy is now occupied 
by Feldman s Antique Shop. 

17. New Orleans Court Building,- 400 Royal Street. The imposing white 
structure between Conti and St. Louis Sts., designed by Brown, Brown, 
and Marye of Atlanta, was built in 1908-09 with funds totaling $1,090,000 
appropriated by the city and State and property owners of the Third 
District. Many buildings dating back to the Spanish regime were torn 
down to make way for the courthouse, and the striking contrast the new 
building creates with the century-old houses that surround it makes it 
stand out as an unwelcome intruder in the French Quarter. A Renaissance 
adaptation characterizes the architecture. The ground plan is that of a 
decorative T. The four-story building is set on a concrete foundation 
with a superstructure of reinforced concrete. The first and second stories 
are faced with Georgia marble and the upper stories with terra-cotta of 
the same color. An ornate terra-cotta balustrade surrounds the flat roof. 
The Royal Street entrance opens from a wide stone platform into a high 
corridor lined with Doric marble columns set on large bases. A bronze 
statue of Chief Justice White of the United States Supreme Court, a 
native of Lafourche Parish, stands in the center of the platform at the 
Royal Street entrance. P. Bryant Baker, sculptor of the Pioneer Wo 
man, designed the statue, which was unveiled on April 8, 1926. 

The building houses the State Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Civil 
District Court of the Parish of Orleans, State Library, Attorney-General s 
office, and various State departments. 

18. Mollie Moore Davis House, 505 Royal Street. This building has been 
the home of many prominent families since its erection more than a hun 
dred years ago. Here, not so long ago, lived the well-known writer of 
Vieux Carre stories, Mollie Moore Davis. 

19. St. Louis Hotel Site. On the downtown river corner of Royal and St. 
Louis Sts. is a vacant lot where the St. Louis Hotel, for many decades the 
scene of important social and civic functions, once stood. 

238 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

Construction of the building was begun in 1836, but it was not completed 
and opened to the public until the summer of 1838. It was originally 
intended that the building should occupy the entire block enclosed by 
Royal, St. Louis, Chartres, and Toulouse Sts., but the financial crisis of 
1837 made it necessary to erect a more modest structure. The hotel, 
given the name Saint Louis, in honor of the patron saint of the city, cost 
approximately $1,500,000. 

In 1841 the building was destroyed by fire, but another was erected al 
most immediately on the same site and along the lines of the original 
structure. In 1874 the Louisiana Legislature purchased the building and 
the hotel became the State capitol. Eight years later, when the capital 
was moved to Baton Rouge, the hotel was reopened under the name 
Hotel Royal, but this venture was not successful. In 1915 the building 
was so badly damaged by a hurricane that the owners allowed it to be 
torn down. 

For several years before the building was demolished it stood unfurnished 
and abandoned, a gaunt specter of its former elegance. For two bits 
one was permitted to wander through the apartments, otherwise there 
was no admittance. In That Old Time Place, John Galsworthy tells 
of meeting a white horse in the hall. 

The first hotel was designed and constructed by the famous De Pouilly 
brothers, J. N. B. and Joseph Isadore. The structure was simple and 
dignified, yet of such magnificent proportions that it was regarded as one 
of the most spectacular buildings in the State. The lower story was com 
posed of granite and the upper portions of stuccoed brick. 

Perhaps the most magnificent feature of the building was the great cop 
per-plated dome, which is said to have weighed 100 tons. It was con 
structed of earthen pots or cylinders, showing the influence of early 
European church architecture. Another interesting feature of the hotel 
was the rotunda, which had a diameter of 66 feet and was paved with 
varicolored marble laid in geometric pattern. To the right of the entrance 
was a raised dais or platform from which slaves were auctioned. Across the 
front of this was a small railing, which was gradually whittled away by 
visitors for souvenirs. On the walls were beautiful mural paintings by 
Dominique Canova, nephew and pupil of the famous Italian sculptor, 
Antonio Canova. When the building was torn down these were preserved 
and later purchased by the French Government. 

The hotel had accommodations for 600 guests, and was conducted on an 
American and European style combined, there being a restaurant in which 
American meals were served to those preferring them to Creole cooking. 

L. from Royal St. on St. Louis St. 

20. Antoine s, 713 St. Louis Street. Few restaurants in America have 
served a greater number of celebrities or been more highly praised for 
delectable dishes than this establishment. The building was originally a 
residence, but was purchased by Antoine Alciatore in 1868. 

French Quarter Tour 239 

21. Warmoth-Soule Home, 716 St. Louis Street. Facing Antoine s is a 
building which was erected just a hundred years ago by John A. Merle, a 
New Orleans commission merchant. Soon after its completion the struc 
ture was purchased by the well-known Louisiana diplomat and attorney, 
Pierre Soule, who occupied it for several years. It was also the home of 
Henry Clay Warmoth, Republican Governor of Louisiana in the carpet 
bag days following the War between the States. 

22. The Grima House, 820 Si. Louis Street. The Grima House possesses 
one of the most beautiful courtyards of the Old Square. Refreshments 
may be secured from the courtyard kitchen within. Little is known about 
the early history of the building, but it is believed to have been erected 
in the i82o s by Samuel Hermann, a wealthy commission merchant. In 
1844 the property passed into the possession of Felix Grima. In 1921 it 
became the Christian Women s Exchange. 

R. from St. Louis St. on Dauphine St. 

23. Audubon s Home, 505 Dauphine Street. Here in the small wooden 
cottage, now occupied by a colored family, the famous ornithologist, 
John James Audubon, lived in 1821-22 and worked on his well-known 
book, Birds of America. The dingy old structure with its low sloping 
roof and green shutters is in a bad state of repair, but despite its age it 
appears to be still a sturdy building. Stanley Clisby Arthur s recently 
published biography of Audubon gives detailed information concerning 
his residence in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana. 

Return and continue on St. Louis to Royal St. 

24. The Spanish Commandancia, 519 Royal Street. On the left-hand side 
of the street facing the Reed Art Gallery is an old plastered-brick building 
which tradition claims housed the Spanish mounted police during the 
regime of Don Estevan Miro. Records show that the structure was hi 
existence and occupied as early as 1774, but recent historians discredit 
the claim that the Spanish police were ever quartered here. Notarial acts 
show that the above building was the business establishment of one Don 
Jacob Cowperthwait in December 1774. Later it became the market for 
fish oil, the fuel then used in street lanterns. 

25. Brulatour Residence, 520 Royal Street. This building, one of the finest 
structures to be seen in the Old Quarter today, was erected in 1816 by 
Francois Seignouret, a native of Bordeaux, who came to New Orleans to 
import wines from his native province. 

Seignouret was a wine merchant and also a furniture-maker who pro 
duced some uf the best designed chairs, lounges, and armoires to be found 
in the South. On each piece of furniture the letter S was carved into the 
design by his workmen. In 1870 the building was rented by Pierre 
Brulatour, who continued the wine-importing business, and after whom 
the building has since been most frequently called. 

For several years it housed the New Orleans Arts and Crafts Club, and 
is at present the location of the Reed Art Gallery, located just off the 

240 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

An interesting feature of the building is the entresol, or mezzanine, a hakv 
story just above the ground floor where Seignouret stored his wines. The 
visitor should observe the ironwork enclosing the balcony of the third 
floor. Here also is a quaint, fan-shaped garde de frise (guard screen) with 
the letter S hammered into the design. 

The courtyard is one of the loveliest in New Orleans. 

26. 534 Royal Street. Near the uptown river corner of Royal and Tou 
louse Sts. stands a typical old Spanish-Creole building which was for 
many years the home of the Soniat du Fossat family. The building re 
presents a later and more pretentious adaptation of the early business- 
home dwelling, in which the proprietor and his family lived above the 
shop in the gabled rooms under the low roof. As buildings in the Vieux 
Carre increased in size and became more elegant, the living quarters of 
the shopkeeper were enlarged to a full story above the ground-floor shop, 
a gallery was affixed, and certain other embellishments typical of French 
Quarter architecture were added. 

Today the ground floor houses an interior decoration and antique shop. 

27. Miro House, 529 Royal Street. This Spanish structure is believed by 
many to have been the one-time home of Don Estevan Miro, Spanish 
Governor of Louisiana from 1785 to 1791. Whether the ruler actually 
occupied the building is not known, but notarial acts show that it was 
standing in 1792. 

On the second-floor balcony is an excellent example of the iron railing 
so popular during the early days. The detail of the courtyard is also 

L. from Royal St. on Toulouse St. 

28. Court of the Two Lions, 708 Toulouse Street. At the uptown lake 
corner of Royal and Toulouse Sts. stands the Court of the Two Lions, 
known first as El Patio de Los Leones, and later by the French term La 
Cour des Lions. 

This structure was built in 1798 by Don Juan Francisco Mericult and 
was retained by the family until it was purchased twenty years later by 
Vincent Nolte, a German merchant. Nolte, whose Fifty Years in Both 
Hemispheres proved so helpful to the author of Anthony Adverse, built 
up a commission business which he carried on until the property was 
taken over a few years later by a banking establishment. During the last 
half of the i9th century there followed a long succession of owners. 
Today it is a rooming-house with an antique shop on the ground floor. 

The small courtyard with the two crouching lions facing each other from 
atop the gate posts has long been a delight to photographers, painters, 
and writers interested in the French Quarter. The building has the added 
distinction of having been the birthplace of the American actor, Robert 
Edeson, and the residence of Winston Churchill s heroine in The Crossing. 

29. French Opera House Site. On the uptown lake corner of Toulouse 
and Bourbon Sts. is the site of the old French Opera House. Probably no 

French Quarter Tour 241 

building in the South housed more celebrities or witnessed more musical 
triumphs than this one. 

The building, erected in 1859 at an approximate cost of $118,000, was 
opened to the public for the first time on December i, 1859 with a pre 
sentation of Guillaume Tell. In 1860 the immortal Patti appeared here, 
but the following season saw the close of the Opera House because of 
financial difficulties resulting from the Civil War. Again in 1914 the 
building was closed because of war, but reopened in 1919, in which year 
the structure was destroyed by fire, leaving only a mass of charred brick 
and twisted iron. 

The Opera House was one of the famous Gallier masterpieces. The in 
terior was beautifully arranged, with a color scheme of red and white. 
The great elliptical auditorium had a seating capacity of 1800, with four 
tiers of seats. 

Today the site is boarded up and used by a wrecking company as a storage 
lot for lumber. The property is owned by Tulane University. 

30. Lafcadio Beam s Rooms, 516 Bourbon Street. The building facing the 
site of the old French Opera is of particular interest to those who know 
of Chita and Youma. Here in a small rented room Lafcadio Hearn 
struggled tirelessly over the stories which have made his name immortal 
in Louisiana literature. The building, now well over a century old, was 
occupied by Hearn soon after he came to New Orleans in 1878, and during 
the period in which he was employed on the City Item, located then at 39 
Natchez Alley. 

31. Charles Gayarre s Home, 601 Bourbon Street. This is the old home of 
the famed Louisiana historian, Charles Gayarre. Located on the down 
town lake corner of Bourbon and Toulouse Sts., it was occupied by the 
Gayarres during the early part of the I9th century, having been erected 
some time before the year 1777. 

Gayarre, the grandson of fitienne de Bore, the first successful sugar re 
finer, was of Spanish and French ancestry. Before delving into the history 
of Louisiana, Gayarre had been one of the State s most successful lawyers 
and legislators. His principal work, originally written in French, com 
prises a history of Louisiana in four volumes. 

Return and continue on Royal St. 

32. Governor Roman s Residence, 611 Royal Street. The sixth block of 
Royal St. is lined on either side with century-old structures where the 
elite of Creole society resided during the early years of the i9th century. 

The old brick building at 611 was the one-time home of Andre Bienvenu 
Roman, twice Governor of Louisiana. The upstairs apartment kept by 
Roman became a popular rendezvous for the Creoles, and many brilliant 
dinners were given here for visiting celebrities. 

33. Court of the Two Sisters, 613 Royal Street. Standing here on the site 
of the former residence of Governor Perier, ruler of the French Colony 
in the early part of the i8th century, is an old building whose spacious 

242 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

courtyard is one of the largest and best-known in New Orleans. The 
earlier building was also, according to one tradition, occupied by Governor 
Vaudreuil, the Great Marquis and arbiter of fashion of his day, under 
whose regime New Orleans patterned its social life after that of Versailles 
under the Marquise de Pompadour. The present three-story brick edifice 
was built in 1832, but did not receive its popular name until more than 
fifty years later, when it was occupied by two sisters, Emma and Bertha 
Camors, who for twenty years carried on a fancy and variety store/ 

The ground floor of the building is now decorated so as to give one the 
impression of being in a sidewalk cafe. At one time in the rear of the 
court there stood a fountain a charming Cupid who blew sprays of 
water from the horn of a ram. A few years ago the fountain was uprooted 
and sold, and is now installed in the patio at 731 Royal Street. 

The large gates at the entrance with their quaint ironwork designs are 
open to visitors. The building now houses a restaurant and bar. 

34. Crawford House, 612 Royal Street. Directly across the street is a 
building which was erected in the early part of the igth century by Dr. 
Deveze, who purchased the property from the Pontalba family. The 
history of the site dates back to the last decade of the i8th century, and 
the property has been in the possession of a number of distinguished 
families. In 1826 John R. Grymes, the Lafitte Brothers attorney, who 
had married Governor Claiborne s widow, bought the residence. In 1839 
Francois Bienvenu acquired the property, and it is still in the possession 
of his descendants, the Crawford family. 

35. Spanish Courtyard, 616 and 624 Royal Street. These twin homes/ 
built by Dr. Isadore Labatut in 1831, were in the early part of the igth 
century the scene of many brilliant social affairs, having been occupied 
by some of the most prominent families of the Creole aristocracy. 

Both buildings are constructed of cement-covered brick and consist of 
three stories with winding stairways connecting the ground floors with 
the upper apartments. No. 616 has an especially interesting courtyard; 
No. 624, occupied by Dr. Labatut himself, housed during his occupancy 
a law office on the ground floor in which Edward Douglas White re 
ceived much of his training. 

36. 628 Royal Street. On the right-hand side of the street almost facing 
Patti s Court stands an ancient two-story structure which for some un 
known reason now bears the name Royal Castilian Arms. This structure 
was the home of many prominent Creole families during the last days of 
Spanish rule. The date of its erection is indefinite, but it seems probable 
that it was built soon after the second great fire (1794). It was originally 
the town house of Charles Loubies, a wealthy planter from St. Charles 
Parish, and adjoined the home of James Pitot, the city s second American 
mayor. Like numbers of other old Creole homes, it served a double pur 
pose, the ground floor housing a business and the upper apartments being 
used as living quarters for the family. 

French Quarter Tour 243 

37. PaUi s Court, 631 Royal Street. The modest, unimposing building 
standing here, which was the home of the celebrated prima donna, la 
petite Patti, is said to be the second oldest structure now standing on 
Rue Royale. 

The early history of this building has been a matter of conjecture, but 
notarial acts indicate that one Antoine Cavelier set up a mercantile es 
tablishment here more than 150 years ago, which was still being carried 
on by his sons in 1809. 

The account of Adelina Patti s sojourn in the Crescent City, and her ap 
pearance at the French Opera, constitutes a delightful chapter in the his 
tory of Old New Orleans. Her debut here was made December 19, 1860, 
in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, under the direction of Maurice 
Strakosch, the husband of the star s sister. The season had been a failure 
and the newly opened opera house was on the verge of closing when 
Patti was induced to cancel her concert engagements and appear before 
the music-loving audience. The sensation which followed her success, 
and the royal reception given the young star is now common knowledge. 

The picturesque court in the rear is open to visitors. Here one finds a 
great profusion of semi-tropical shrubs, vines, and flowers, with here and 
there seats arranged for visitors. The patio may be reached through Chap 
man s Novelty Shop. 

38. The First Skyscraper, 640 Royal Street. The four-storied old building 
standing on the uptown river corner of Royal and St. Peter Sts. is one 
whose history is of peculiar interest. It is known by three names, the 
First Skyscraper/ Dr. Le Monnier s Residence, and "Sieur George s 

It is commonly believed that this was the first structure in the Old Square 
to be built more than two stories high. A plaque on the front of the build 
ing reading First "Skyscraper" in the Colony 1774 is erroneous. The 
present building was erected in 1811 by Dr. Yves Le Monnier, well- 
known physician, and Francois Grandchamps, the Royal St. druggist. 
The architects were Latour and Laclotte, of Major Latour s School. 
Upon completion of the building it was occupied by Le Monnier, who 
some years after purchased Grandchamps interest in the property. 
When its three stories were completed it was predicted that the soft soil 
of its foundations would not support such a building, and that adjoining 
homes would be endangered. The heavy brick edifice became a curiosity, 
a phenomenon which tradition claims was shunned on stormy, windy days. 
The fourth floor was not added until 1876. 

The oval-shaped corner room on the third floor is declared by architects 
to be the most artistically conceived in the city. It has a domed, plastered 
ceiling, and French doors open into a curved corner balcony. 

George W. Cable, noted writer of Creole stories, was responsible for the 
building s being called Sieur George s House, for it was here that his 
fictional hero lived and romanced, loved the wrong woman and grew 
poor from lottery and liquor. It was here, too, that Kookoo, the land- 

244 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

lord, finally pried into Sieur George s mysterious trunk while the owner 
lay in a drunken stupor, only to find lottery tickets instead of the gold 
which he would have given ten sweet dollars to see. 

The building has been in the possession of a number of families since its 
erection. Today it is an apartment house, with antique shops and a bar 
occupying the ground floor. The exterior, however, remains the same. 
In the wrought-iron railings enclosing the balconies are circular designs 
containing the monogram Y L M of the original owner. 

39. Labranche House, 700 Royal Street. At the downtown river corner 
of Royal and St. Peter Sts. stands an old edifice whose handsome cast- 
iron decorations make it one of the greatest attractions of Royal St. The 
quaint design, of entwined oak leaves and acorns, is regarded as one of 
the finest examples of ironwork in New Orleans. The building was erected 
a hundred years ago by Jean Baptiste Labranche of St. Charles District. 

40. Arts and Crafts Club, 712 Royal Street. The mansion now housing 
the Arts and Crafts Club was the original home of Dr. Pierre Thomas, 
and was erected in 1823. During the remainder of the century it passed 
through the hands of many owners, the property being greatly prized 
because of the delightful views of the cathedral garden and Royal St. 
from the upstairs galleries. 

In 1932, the New Orleans Arts and Crafts Club, which had previously 
been quartered in the old Seignouret home, moved into this building. 
This club is a local organization whose purpose is the training of those 
interested in the arts. 

Return on Royal St. to St. Peter St.; L. from Royal St. on St. Peter St t 

41. Green Shutter Shop, 712 St. Peter Street. The house with the green 
shutters, a low one-story structure, was built in the last decade of the 
1 8th century and was once the residence of J. H. Holland, keeper of the 
Cabildo prison. The building is now the Green Shutter Shop, a small 

42. Site of Le Spectacle, 732 St. Peter Street. The actual site on which the 
first theater of New Orleans stood has been a subject for much dispute. 
Guides in the Old Quarter have frequently pointed out to visitors the old 
building standing at 716 St. Peter St., but Stanley Arthur s recent exami 
nation of notarial records shows that Le Spectacle was located at 732 St. 
Peter St. 

R. from St. Peter St. on Dauphine St. 

43. The Le Prete Home, 716 Dauphine Street. The tall structure on the 
corner of Dauphine and Orleans Sts. is the home designated as the Le 
Prete Mansion. 

The century-old building with its high basement and exquisite cast-iron 
balconies is one of the most admired houses in the old section. Jean 
Baptiste Le Prete s family occupied the house almost half a century be 
fore it was taken over by the Citizen s Bank. 

French Quarter Tour 245 

Helen Pitkin Schertz, in Legends of Louisiana, tells an interesting story 
concerning this house. A Turk, known as the Brother of the Sultan/ 
is said to have migrated to New Orleans with a bevy of beautiful young 
girls purloined from his brother s harem and to have lived in great se 
crecy at this address. The curiosity of the townspeople was satisfied only 
after the mysterious stranger and his entourage were found murdered 
the morning after a gay reception. Officers of the ship which had brought 
the Turkish household, fearing the wrath of the sultan, were said to have 
done the deed, absconding with the dead man s jewelry to live as pirates. 
R. from Dauphine St. on Orleans St. 

44. Pere Antoine s Date Palm, 827 Orleans Street. Just opposite the old 
Le Prete home, on a site now occupied by a small wooden cottage, stood 
not so many years ago a tall palm tree known today as Pere Antoine s 
Date Palm. There is a legend which claims that Pere Antoine and 
fimile Jardain, close friends, were preparing for priesthood when both 
fell in love with the same girl. It is said that fimile and the girl eloped, 
and that several years after, when the mother lay dying, their small 
child was sent to Pere Antoine. The child died soon after and was buried 
in his garden. From her grave the famous palm which the priest tended 
with such care is said to have sprouted. (See Thomas Bailey Aldrich s 
Marjorie Daw.) 

45. St. John Berchmaris Orphanage for Girls (Negro}, 733 Orleans Street. 
The building occupies the site of the old Orleans Theater, where the 
Creole elite were entertained with French drama. The Sisters of the 
Holy Family, still in charge of its management, erected this building in 
1 88 1, shortly after Abbe Roufillon established the order in New Orleans. 
A colored high school is likewise housed in the building. 

46. Orleans Ballroom, 717 Orleans Street. On the left-hand side of the 
street (just before coming into Royal) stands an old three-story building, 
long designated as the scene of the * quadroon balls. 

According to Gayarre, Cable, Grace King, George Kernion, and other 
writers this building housed, before the Civil War, the celebrated quad 
roon balls, where the gallants of the city were wont to flock duels fre 
quently followed the dancing, and many a party of gentlemen, after 
having quarreled in the ballroom over some fair partner, adjourned in the 
early morning to the "Oaks" where "coffee and pistols for two" were 
served. Here the beautiful quadroon women, whose slight Negro taint 
was betrayed only by the soft olive of their skin and the deeply increased 
brilliancy of their eyes, appeared in all their glory to dance with the 
aristocratic white gentlemen of the city. 

Stanley Arthur, however, states that this structure was for several years 
the scene of many brilliant affairs, but was never used for quadroon balls. 
In 1828 when the Government House was destroyed by fire, the State 
Legislature moved into the building. The popularity of the place waned 
with the completion of the St. Louis Hotel, and in 1881 the property was 
purchased by Thorny Lafon, a Negro philanthropist, to be used for the 
colored Catholic nuns. 

246 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

47. The Orleans Restaurant, 718 Orleans Street. Just across the street 
from the Orleans Ballroom is an old, yellow, two-story structure, erected 
in 1809 by Antoine Angue. Here a century ago was housed the Restaurant 
d Orleans, so famous during this period for its delectable Creole meals. 
L. from Orleans St. on Royal St. 

48. 823 Royal Street. In the early part of the ipth century this building 
was the home of Daniel Clark, a gritty Irishman, who was one of 
Lafitte s merchants and secret agents and was the father of Myra Clark 
Gaines, central figure in a sensational lawsuit. Clark held the distinction 
of having shot Governor Claiborne in the leg when the Chief Executive 
challenged him on the field of honor. He was the Territory of Orleans 
first representative in Congress, serving from 1803 to 1812. When Phi 
lippe de Comines (later Louis Philippe, King of France) was visiting New 
Orleans in 1798, Clark became his intimate friend. 

It is not known whether or not this house was standing on the site when 
Clark purchased the property in 1803. The facade has been remodeled 
on the lower floor. The principal attraction is the large patio in the back 
with its profusion of flowers and vines. Here grows one of the largest ; 
oleander trees in the downtown section. 

The building is now occupied by the artist Alberta Kinsey. 
R. from Royal St. on Dumaine St. 

49. Madame John s Legacy, 623 Dumaine Street. Before crossing Du 
maine St. the visitor may walk a few yards to the right and see Madame 
John s Legacy. This building, according to recent research by Laura E. 
Porteous, is the oldest in the Mississippi Valley, an honor usually given 
to the Ursuline Convent at 1 1 14 Chartres St. This old structure, immortal 
ized by Cable s Creole stories, has a long, colorful history dating back to 
1726 when the first owner, Jean Pascal, a sea captain from Provence, 
France, came to New Orleans and was given this site by La Compagnie 
des Indes, which then controlled the Louisiana colony. Here Captain 
Pascal lived with his wife and daughter until he was slain by the Natchez 
Indians in the massacre of 1729. 

In the i77o s the house was occupied by Rene Beluche, captain of the 
Spy, a smuggler in the days of Lafitte. 

In the years following, Madame John s Legacy was owned and occupied 
by a number of families who, happily, preserved the old edifice. In 1925 
Mrs. I. I. Lemann purchased the property, and the home has remained 
in her possession since. 

The building is of the raised cottage plantation type lower floor of 
brick, upper of wood and at variance with the town houses which 
make up most of the Quarter. The first floor is a great shadowy place 
with thick brick walls, an uneven brick floor, and holes in the walls 
covered with heavy iron bars. From the gallery of the second floor slender 
wooden colonnettes support the hipped and dormered roof. 
It was George W. Cable who gave the old house its odd name. Here it 

French Quarter Tour 247 

was that his hero John lived with his parents until their death. When 
John himself lay dying he bequeathed the house to Zalli, the handsome 
quadroon/ and her infant, Tite Poulette. But Madame John, as she 
was called, sold the legacy and placed the money in a bank, which made 
haste to fail. 
Return and continue on Royal St. 

50. The Miltenberger Homes, 902-910 Royal Street. The three large, red 
brick buildings standing on the downtown river corner of Royal and 
Dumaine Streets were occupied almost a hundred years ago by the dis 
tinguished Miltenberger brothers, Gustave, Aristide, and Alphonse. The 
structures were erected in 1838 by Madame Miltenberger. 

It was in the building at 910 Royal St. that Alice Heine, granddaughter 
of Alphonse Miltenberger, was born. After the death of her first husband, 
the Due de Richelieu, Alice married Prince Louis of Monaco and reigned 
over Monte Carlo royalty until she divorced him in 1902. 

Despite their hundred years, these old buildings are still in an excellent 
state of preservation. The ironwork on the balconies of the second and 
third floors is one of the finest examples of this style of decoration to be 
found on Royal St. In the back are spacious courtyards enclosed by high 
brick walls. The ground floors are occupied by small shops, and the upper 
apartments are rented as living quarters. 

51. The Cornstalk Fence, 915 Royal Street. Of interest to visitors of the 
French Quarter is the cast-iron fence enclosing the garden at the above 
address. The date of its construction is indefinite, but it seems probable 
that the fence was built around the year 1850. 

The design represents growing cornstalks entwined with the vines of 
morning-glories. The fence has been kept painted in the natural colors 
the cornstalks green, the ears yellow, and the morning-glory blossoms a 
sky blue. A butterfly with spreading wings has been added to the design 
on the gate, and at the bottom a spray of holly leaves. 
The only other fence in New Orleans built in this style is hi the Garden 
District at Prytania and Fourth Sts. 

52. The Old Courthouse, 919 Royal Street. This is the site of the old 
courthouse in which General Andrew Jackson was fined $1000 for con 
tempt of court, shortly after he had defeated the British army at the 
Battle of New Orleans. The original building was a small one-story 
structure with a red Spanish tile roof. The second story was added many 
years later. 

When Jackson persisted in maintaining martial law in the city, despite 
rumors of a declaration of peace, prominent Creole citizens became in 
dignant and criticized the general bitterly. Following the publication of 
an article in which Old Hickory was denounced, Jackson ordered the 
writer arrested, and when Judge Hall issued a writ of habeas corpus the 
general banished the judge from the city. After martial law ended, Judge 
Hall returned, opened court again, and fined Jackson $1000 for con 
tempt of court. 

248 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

The court s action aroused the citizens of New Orleans, and a mob re 
paired to Pierre Maspero s Coffee Shop, at Chartres and St. Louis Sts. 
Here a speech was demanded, and Jackson, standing on a marble-topped 
table which had been dragged into the street, spoke briefly and without 
rancor. The enthusiastic crowd quickly made up the $1000 to return 
to their hero, but Jackson refused the money, requesting that it be given 
to the widows and orphans of those men who had lost their lives in the 
Battle of New Orleans. 

53. 934 Royal Street. The residence standing here was the home of the 
Great Creole, Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, from 1867 until 1875. 

The two-story brick building has a plain facade with batten shutters 
and dormer windows. The arched entrance is set in an alcove off the 
street. The entrance gate to the courtyard has a cast-iron design of love 
birds, a pair of doves facing each other across a bowl of fruit. 

L.from Royal St. on St. Philip St. 

54. Lafitte s Blacksmith Shop, 941 Bourbon Street. On the uptown lake 
corner of St. Philip and Bourbon Sts. stands a building known as the 
Lafitte Smithy. For years this small one-story brick structure has been 
pointed out as the location where the famous smugglers posed as black 
smiths instead of dealers in black ivory. 

Notarial records in existence give a history of this building dating back 
to 1772, but the question of the Lafittes occupancy has been disputed, 
despite the plaque on the Bourbon St. wall. The broken plaster of the 
walls discloses the briquete entre poteaux method of construction (soft 
bricks reinforced with timbers) in vogue among the early settlers. 

Return and continue on Royal St. 

55. Galileos Residence, 1132 Royal Street. More than three-quarters of 
a century ago the famous James Gallier, Jr., architect of some of the city s 
finest structures, bought this lot and designed his own home. 

In the history of New Orleans architecture the name Gallier stands high. 
Both James Gallier and his son of the same name were designers of the 
first rank. They were the architects of the old French Opera House, the 
original St. Charles Hotel, the Pontalba Buildings, and the present city 

The Gallier residence is a two-story building of cement-covered brick in 
block shape, fronting which is a splendid portico with slender columns. 
Granite steps lead up to a landing of black and white marble squares. 
The doorway is flanked by two columns of the ornate Corinthian style. 

The courtyard at the rear of the building was once one of the loveliest in 
the French Quarter with its fountains, flagged walks, and trailing vines. 
Today the patio is barren and deserted. 

The ground floor of the building now houses a barber shop, and two of 
the trim wrought-iron poles supporting the portico have been striped in 
red and white. The second floor has been converted into apartments. 

French Quarter Tour 249 

56. The Haunted House, 1140 Royal Street. On the uptown river corner 
of Royal and Governor Nicholls Sts. stands a typical old French mansion 
whose grim and weird history has given it the eerie title the Haunted 
House. Probably no building in the Old Square has been the subject of 
more fantastic tales than the home of Madame Lalaurie. 

The legends are full of interest. Madame Lalaurie, twice widowed by the 
deaths of Don Ramon de Lopez and Jean Blanque, married Dr. Louis 
Lalaurie in 1825. In 1832 when the Lalaurie mansion was completed, 
the family moved into the home, and it soon became the scene of many 
brilliant social gatherings. 

There is the story of a fire which gained such headway in the Lalaurie 
home that neighbors rushed in to assist in extinguishing the flames. 
Here, in varying degrees of starvation and torment, seven slaves were 
discovered. An enraged mob attacked the home and carried the miserable 
and wasted slaves to the Cabildo. During the confusion Madame La 
laurie and her husband escaped in their carriage, made their way to 
Mandeville, from there to Mobile, and finally to Paris. 

During the years of the Civil War the house was used as Union head 
quarters, and in the iSyo s the building became a gambling-house. 
Stories were told and retold of the strange lights and shadowy objects 
that were seen flitting about in different apartments, their forms draped 
with sheets, skeleton heads protruding. Hoarse voices like unto those 
supposed to come only from the charnel house floated out on to the fog- 
laden air on dismal and rainy nights, with the ominous sound of clanking 
chains coming from the servants quarters where foul crimes are said to 
have been committed. One of the most frequently repeated of the ghost 
stories was that of the little Negro girl who, trying to escape the cruel 
lashings of her mistress, sprang from the roof of the building to her death 
in the paved courtyard below. 

The Haunted House is a three-story structure of cement-covered brick, 
and was built at an approximate cost of $100,000. The architectural 
detail is designed in the French Empire style with classic scroll work, 
arabesque figures, applique, etc. It is now a social welfare institution 
known as the Warrington House, conducted by William J. Warrington, 
a kindly, gray-bearded man, who has spent his entire life assisting hungry 
and destitute men and women. During 1935 more than 104,000 people 
received aid. Hunger and want are the only prerequisites necessary to 
admit an individual to the Warrington House. 

The Warrington Movement is non-sectarian and does not employ a large 
staff of salaried workers. Warrington s welfare work is no longer confined 
to the Warrington House, but embraces five houses, all partly self-sus 
taining. At 820 Esplanade Ave. is the Warrington House for Boys, where 
youths are cared for and clothed; at 1133 Chartres St. (a former home of 
General Beauregard and the birthplace of Paul Morphy) is a small trade 
school where youths are taught a variety of trades; at 1133 Royal St. is 
a salesroom and furniture repair shop where a number of young people 

250 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

are employed; at 623 Ursuline St. is a home where destitute women and 
children are fed and sheltered and given different kinds of employment. 
Visitors are cordially received at the Warrington House at any time. 

L. from Royal St. on Gov. Nicholls St. 

57. Prevails Livery Stable, 724 Governor Nicholls Street. The old structure 
known a hundred years ago as Preval s Livery Stable was erected by 
Judge Gallien Preval in 1834. It became the subject for a ludicrous 
Creole song in which the judge was described as a comical figure joining 
in a dance given for Negroes in the stables, and ending with his arrest 
for failing to secure a permit to hold the dance: 

1. Miche Preval, li donnin gran bal; 
Li fait negue paye pou saute in pe. 

Chorus: Danse Calinda, boudoum, boudoum. 
Danse Calinda, boudoum, boudoum. 

2. Miche Preval, li te capitaine bal; 
So cocher Louis te maite ceremonie. 

3. Dans lequirie la yave gran gala, 
Mo ere choual laye te bien etonne. 

4. Yave des negresses belle passe maitresse; 
Ye vole bebelle dans rormoire Momzelle. 

1. Mr. Preval, he gave a big ball, 

And made niggers pay to dance a little. 

Chorus: Dance the Calinda, boudoum, boudoum. 
Dance the Calinda, boudoum, boudoum. 

2. Mr. Preval, he was the captain of the ball; 

His coachman, Louis, was master of ceremonies. 

3. In that barn there was a really fine spread; 
I m sure the horses were mighty surprised. 

4. There were negresses there dressed finer than the mistresses; 
They stole fineries from Young Missis armoire. 

Return and continue on Royal St.; L. from Royal on Barracks St. 

58. Audubon s First Studio, 706 Barracks Street. In this low brick build 
ing, just off Royal St., John James Audubon rented a small, inexpensive 
room in 1821 and established his first studio in the city. He lived here 
only four months, leaving to go to West Feliciana Parish. 

59. Maison Hospitaliere, 822 Barracks Street. This home was founded 
in 1879 and is one of the most interesting institutions of its kind in the 
city. As a home for old Creole ladies, it takes care of those unfortunate 
gentlewomen who, reared in refinement and luxury, are now old and 
without means of support. 

The institution is housed in a large two-story building that stands flush 
with the pavement. The courtyard is one of the most spacious in the 
entire downtown section. It is paved throughout and additions to the 
main building encircle it on three sides. On the unenclosed end is a 

French Quarter Tour 251 

driveway which opens into Bourbon Street and is flanked on one side by 
a chapel, in which service is held twice a day, and on the other side by 
an infirmary, with two nurses in attendance. There are about 70 in 
mates, who are clothed, fed, and given medical attention on funds allotted 
to the hospital by the Community Chest. 

60. Morro Castle, 1003 Barracks Street. The building standing at the 
downtown lake corner of Barracks and Burgundy Sts. has been for many 
years shrouded in mystery. Like many more of the structures of the 
old French city, numerous stories have been related about this so-called 
rendezvous of ghosts. Many believe that the marble-faced structure was 
erected during the Spanish regime and that it was used to quarter troops. 
Stanley Arthur writes that the structure was begun in 1836 by Paul 
Pandelly, but before the building was completed he was forced to sur 
render to creditors because of financial difficulties. In 1838 Pierre Soule 
purchased the property, completed the structure, and leased it to tenants. 
The building is now a modern apartment house. 

R.from Barracks St. on N. Rampart St.; R.from N. Rampart on Esplanade 


Esplanade Avenue. In the boom days of the i83o s this avenue was called 

Promenade Publique. Here a half century ago the socially prominent 

of the French city resided in palatial homes surrounded by palms, elms, 

live oaks, and magnolias. 

61, 62. At 1016 Esplanade stands a brick structure resembling a feudal 
castle, built in 1838 by Sampson Blossman. In the next block on the 
same side of the street, at 908, is the century-old residence of Celeste 
Destrehan, daughter-in-law of the famed Bernard de Mandeville de 
Marigny. This was one of the finest houses on the avenue, and has re 
cently been restored to its former splendor. 

63, 64, 65. In the adjoining block at 820 is the old mansion of J. B. 
Guerin, now occupied by the Warrington House for Boys. The buildings 
at 730-740 Esplanade are sometimes referred to as the homes of the Fisk 
brothers, prominent philanthropists of the city and founders of the New 
Orleans Public Library system. The buildings were never occupied by 
the brothers, but the corner building was erected by Edward Fisk in 1870, 
and the fine residence at 730 was once occupied by the widow of Alvarez 
Fisk. At 704 Esplanade (corner of Royal Street) is the old home of John 
Gauche. The stately proportions of the mansion, the beautiful court 
yard, and the cast-iron balcony make it one of the most interesting build 
ings in the French Quarter. The structure was erected in 1856. 

66. The large brick house at 604 Esplanade was, during the 1830*5, the 
home of Judge Alonzo Morphy, father of the celebrated chess king, 
Paul Morphy. 

67. At 524 Esplanade (corner of Chartres St.) stands what is probably the 
oldest building on the avenue. This was the home of Caspar Cusachs, 
president of the Louisiana Historical Society for many years. The build 
ing is believed to have been erected in 1810 by Laurent Buzard. 

252 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

68. Old U.S. Mint, Esplanade and Decatur Streets. The history of the old 
mint building standing at the corner of Esplanade Ave. and Decatur St. is 
one of drama and color. The three-story structure, erected in 1836 at a cost 
of $182,000, is constructed of river mud brick, stuccoed and trimmed 
with granite. Designed in the Classical Revival style it has an Ionic 
portico facing Esplanade Ave. The main vaulting is supported on 
piers without being tied into the walls, thus eliminating the danger of 
settlement to the exterior. The walls, offset both inside and outside, 
range in thickness from 3 feet on the ground floor to 18 inches on the upper 
story. The 2o-gauge galvanized iron roofing, laid in 1856, is still in good 
condition. Changes were made in 1931 in converting the building into 
a prison; large dormitories and two cell blocks were added to the rear 
end of the wings; the picturesque old smokestack was removed; and the 
two rear courts were enclosed by high walls. 

It was on this site that Andrew Jackson reviewed his troops before the 
Battle of New Orleans. Soon after the appointment of officers in 1837, the 
mint began to turn out its first coined money. Gold or silver was pur 
chased from any persons bringing the precious metal to the mint, and 
the customer received in American coins the full amount without deduc 
tion or expense the United States Government bearing the expense of 

Two outstanding events connected with the old mint should receive 
mention; the fancy dress ball of 1850 and the hanging of William Mum- 
ford in 1862. 

The fancy dress ball, the first and only social event to take place within 
a United States mint building, was given by the superintendent, whose 
name was Kennedy, to celebrate the debut of his daughter Rose. The 
ball was a brilliant affair with most of the socially prominent people of 
the city in attendance. 

The hanging of William Mumford was one of the high lights of the Civil 
War in New Orleans. When the city had surrendered before Admiral 
Farragut s fleet, and the United States flag had been hoisted over the 
mint building, Mumford in company with three companions seized the 
flag and dragged it through the mud of the streets. Two months after 
wards, despite the intercession of influential people, Mumford was hanged 
from a gibbet projecting from the peristyle of the mint, erected just below 
the flagstaff. 

The mint operated continuously from 1838 to 1862, when New Orleans 
was captured during the Civil War. For the next few years it remained 
inactive, beginning operations again in 1879 and continuing until 1910, 
when coinage was concentrated in Philadelphia by Government orders. 
Again the mint building, except for the assayer s offices, was unoccupied 
for several years. From 1927 to 1930 the building was used by the Veterans 
Bureau, and the following year the work of converting the building into 
a Federal prison was begun with Diboll and Owen as architects. 
R. from Esplanade Ave. on N. Peters St.; R. from N. Peters on Barracks 
St.; L. from Barracks on Gallatin St. 

French Quarter Tour 253 

(i all at in Street. This narrow street is only two blocks in length, beginning 
at Barracks and ending at the Ursuline St. intersection. A century ago 
it was the most noted cesspool of immorality, assassination, and crime 
ever known in New Orleans in ante-bellum times and was frequently 
called Louisiana s Barbary Coast. 

The street was quiet and almost deserted by day, but the first shadows of 
night and the first flickering lights from the dance halls and barrooms 
brought the seductive chuckles of women, and the boisterous laughter 
of sailors. It is believed that Gallatin St. was the favorite haunt of the 
Black Hand Gang, which once preyed upon the Italian population of the 

The buildings along the river side of Gallatin St. have recently been razed 
to make room for the new, modernized French Market. 

R. from Gallatin St. on Ursuline St.; R. from Ursuline on Chartres St. 

69. Beauregard House, 1113 Chartres Street. The birthplace of the world s 
champion chess-player, Paul Morphy, is located near the corner of Ursu 
line and Chartres Sts. Here in 1837 was born the child who before reach 
ing twenty became the country s master chess-player. The old mansion 
is, however, more generally known as the home of General Beauregard, 
who lived here for a time. 

The building was erected in 1826 by Joseph Lecarpentier on a site pur 
chased from the Ursuline Nuns. It is a single-story structure with a 
raised basement presenting a contrast to the usual homes of the French 
Quarter. The building is approached by two flanking, curved, granite 
stairways with wrought-iron rails of a Greek pattern. The house is open 
to visitors. 

70. Ursuline Convent, 1114 Chartres Street. Just across the street facing 
the Beauregard House is the historic Ursuline Convent, which is perhaps 
the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley and the first nunnery to be 
established in Louisiana. The Ursuline Nuns, the first of their order to 
establish themselves in the United States, reached New Orleans in 1727, 
but their new quarters were not completed and opened until 1734. The 
nuns were first domiciled in the home of Bienville when they arrived in 
the city. The opening of the new convent in 1734 was a day of great 
celebration in New Orleans with Bienville and all the officials of the city 
in attendance. 

The building was occupied by the Ursulines for ninety years. In 1824, 
because of the value of the real estate surrounding their quarters, the 
nuns sold their property and established a new home two miles below 
the city, on North Peters St. The building was then used for a short 
time by a young French priest, Father Martial, who conducted a Catholic 
school for boys. In 1831 the State Legislature, which had been meeting 
in the old Orleans Ballroom since the destruction of the State House, held 
their sessions in the nunnery. The Chartres St. convent then became the 
home of the archbishop of New Orleans. In 1899, when a new archbish 
opric was purchased, the old nunnery became a presbytere, being joined 

254 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

to a new structure which was called St. Mary s Italian Church. In the 
rear of the courtyard, on what is believed to be the site of the original 
chapel, is a parochial school. The courtyard is entered through a brick 
and plaster conciergerie, one of the few remaining gateways of this 
type in the United States. 

The archbishopric is still pointed out as the old Ursuline convent a 
building whose two hundred years have been crowded with many events 
of historic interest. 

71. St. Mary s Italian Church, joining the archbishopric on the down 
town side, is one of the oldest Catholic churches in New Orleans. The 
building was erected around 1846, one end of the old convent being torn 
away in order to join the two buildings. The small church, built of stuc 
coed brick, has a pointed gable surmounted by a small cross. The surface 
of the facade is ornamented with raised cement work. Four imitation 
pilasters divide the surface into four equal sections. Two angels in flight 
carry a chalice between them on the frieze surmounting the door frame. 
Above the doorway, with its heavy wooden doors, each of which is carved 
with a cross and stained in imitation of bronze, is a small but elaborately 
designed rose window. The Papal coat of arms stands out in relief on the 
wall surface under the cross on the gable. 

The interior is an oblong room with a flat roof. Two marble columns sup 
porting an entablature frame the Sanctuary. The main altar is of marble 
carved in elaborate design, as are also the railing and altar steps. Eleven 
stained-glass windows depict scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin 

To the members of this church and other Catholic Italians throughout 
the city, March 19, St. Joseph s Day, is one of the outstanding holidays 
of the year. Usually falling near the middle of Lent, it is for this reason 
called Mi-Careme. The feast originated centuries ago among a small group 
of Italians exiled because of a religious dispute. Set adrift by their perse 
cutors, the frightened voyagers placed themselves under the protection 
and guidance of St. Joseph, their favorite saint, promising that if land 
were safely reached they would honor his feast day every year by erecting 
an altar. On March 19, refuge was found on an island in the Mediter 
ranean Sea. Here an altar was built of branches and palmetto leaves 
and decorated with red lilies, wistaria, and other flowers. This custom 
of consecrating an altar to St. Joseph has persisted until today. 

In Italian homes, many of which are in the Vieux Carre, elaborate altars 
are erected and statues of saints or holy pictures are placed here amidst 
a profusion of flowers, shrubs, and lighted candles. The larger shrines 
are built in tiers, but large or small, they are always decked with all 
manner of foodstuffs. In the background of each are small disks of bread 
and toasted beans which are distributed to visitors, it being said that 
preservation of these will ward off poverty. Tables covered with food 
stand about the room. Visitors stroll from house to house making 
wishes and leaving silver coins to hasten their fulfillment. 

French Quarter Tour 255 

Return to Vrsuline and Decatur Sts. 

72. French Market, Decatur and N. Peters Streets. The Old French 
Market, one of the oldest institutions of New Orleans, has for almost a 
century and a half been one of the chief attractions of the Old Quarter. 
Its sheds and stalls, remodeled under the P.W.A., extend along Decatur 
and N. Peters Sts. from Barracks to St. Ann St. The market consists 
of five separate buildings, huddled together and divided into stalls 
where fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish are sold. 

Tradition claims that this was once the location used by the Choctaw 
Indians as a trading-post, and that here in the early days the redskins 
squatted about with their baskets of wild herbs and sassafras leaves, 
waiting to strike a favorable bargain. 

The first market building was erected in 1791 by the Spanish, but this 
was replaced in 1813 by the present remodeled meat market. The other 
buildings were added at later dates, providing space for the handling 
of fresh fruits and vegetables. The coffee stands at opposite ends of the 
market are the traditional refreshment places of the Vieux Carre, cele 
brated in song and story for their fragrant cups of cafe noir or cafe au 

To see the market at its best, the visitor should stroll by the stalls near 
the end of the week Thursday night for Friday s fish and Friday night 
or Saturday morning for produce of near-by farms. The busy rush of 
trucks and wagons, the ceaseless babble of foreign tongues, the strange 
mixture of humanity ebbing and flowing, and the confusion of odors give 
a setting and atmosphere truly characteristic of the old French city. 
Many farmers, in order to be on hand early in the morning, arrive late 
at night and sleep until dawn in their wagons. Others remain up all 
night grading and arranging fruits and vegetables for the early buyers. 

73. Madame Begue s, 823 Decatur Street. Continuing up Decatur St. the 
visitor finds, at the corner of Madison, what was fifty years ago one 
of the most popular restaurants of the city s downtown section Madame 
Begue s. In the spacious upstairs dining-room, Hippolyte Begue prepared 
and served his famous Sunday morning breakfasts delightful, leisurely 
meals beginning at n A.M. and usually continuing until 2.30 or 3.00 in 
the afternoon. Here, many visiting notables dined, spending luxurious 
hours partaking of delicacies. The Begue s Visitors Book holds the fol 
lowing inscription by Eugene Field: I m very proud to testify the hap 
piest of my days is March n,/ 95 breakfast at Begue s. 

74. Jackson Square. The next right-hand block of Decatur St. com 
prises Jackson Square. The best view is from the river side of the block, 
with the handsome bronze statue of General Jackson silhouetted against 
the facade of the old St. Louis Cathedral. Since the settlement of the 
original city, more than two hundred years ago, many flags have floated 
from the flagstaff in the old Place d Armes, as the square was originally 

While the Louisiana province was under the rule of Spain this open space 

256 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

was called Plaza de Armas, and the red and yellow flag of Espana waved 
in the square. But with the Treaty of San Ildefonso, in 1801, came the 
transfer to France (1803), and the flag of Spain was replaced with the 
tricolor of the French Republic. Twenty days later the Creoles were dis 
mayed to see the Stars and Stripes of the United States hoisted in the 

With the Civil War came another change in the emblems floating from 
the flagstaff of Jackson Square. For a year the State s Lone Star 
flag flew side by side with the Confederate banner; then came Admiral 
Farragut s capture of the city and the Stars and Stripes were raised again 
in the Place d Armes. 

In 1856 the Baroness de Pontalba succeeded in having the Place d Armes 
transformed from a parade ground into a garden with walks laid out and 
flowers and shrubs planted. She also made the largest contribution to 
the statue of Chalmette s hero, which was placed in the center of the 
square and unveiled from the gallery of one of her apartments by the 

Jackson s monument has been called the centerpiece of one of the 
finest architectural settings in the world. It was constructed in 1856 
by Clark Mills at a cost of $30,000. The manner in which the sculptor 
succeeded in effecting a perfect balance in the posture of the horse with 
out props was an achievement which won him wide praise. The bronze 
horse and rider weigh more than 10 tons. The inscription The Union 
Must and Shall be Preserved was cut on the base of the statue by order 
of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, when he occupied the city. 
Each year on January 8, Jackson Square is the scene of ceremonies 
commemorating the gallant defense of the city under Gen. Jackson at 
the Battle of New Orleans. Speeches are made at the Square (scene of 
the jubilant thanksgiving celebration held following the battle) ; a wreath 
is placed on Jackson s statue, and a reception is held at the Cabildo. 
The New Orleans chapter of the Reserve Officers Association and the 
Chalmette Chapter of the Daughters of 1812 usually conduct ceremonies 
at both Jackson Square and at Chalmette Field. One of the most inter 
esting rites observed on this day is the pilgrimage of the sodalists to the 
Ursuline College Chapel, 2635 State St., where solemn benediction of 
the Most Blessed Sacrament is held before the shrine of Our Lady of 
Prompt Succor to whom Mother Marie de Vegien, Superioress of the 
Ursuline Nuns, prayed for the salvation of the city in 1815, promising 
an annual novena in perpetuity. 

Jackson Square has been well preserved and is under excellent care. Seats 
have been placed among the shrubs and along the fence enclosing the 
square. Visitors are welcome on the grounds until n o clock at night. 
75. The Pontalba Buildings. The two huge red-brick buildings flanking 
Jackson Square on St. Peter and St. Ann Sts. were built by the Baroness 
de Pontalba in 1849. Few buildings in the French Quarter are better 
known, and few have had a more colorful history. 

French Quarter Tour 257 

Micaela Leonarda Antonia was an only child of the wealthy Spanish 
philanthropist, Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, and Louise de la Rcnde. 
At the age of 16 she was married to her cousin, Joseph Xavier Celestin 
Delfau de Pontalba, who was only twenty. The marriage, uniting two of 
Louisiana s wealthiest families, was one of the most brilliant in the social 
history of the city, but the union was not successful, and divorce pro 
ceedings followed. 

In 1848 the Baroness, who had for several years made her home in 
France, returned to her native city. It was at this time that she began 
plans for the improvements of Jackson Sq., and the building of the two 
apartment houses. Both buildings were completed in less than two 
years, designs for which were prepared by James Gallier, Sr. The Baron 
ess had hoped that these structures would check the gradual movement 
of business to the uptown section of the city; but such was not the case. 
The splendid buildings attracted much attention for a time, but grad 
ually they fell into neglect. Today, they have won back their popularity, 
and the Pontalba Apartments are much in demand. 

The houses are now publicly owned, the upper building having been 
purchased by the city, and the lower donated to the State. 

Designed in the Renaissance tradition, they have a harmony of propor 
tion restful to the eye. Both are four stories high with a ground floor 
arrangement for stores. The wide galleries, which run the entire length 
of the second and third floors, have fine cast-iron work and an entwined 
AP, the Almonester and Pontalba initials. The oblong windows of the 
fourth or attic story are all covered with heavy cast-iron grillwork. 
Each building is ornamented with three gables, one at each end and one 
in the center with an octagonal blind window covered with a mono- 
grammed iron grill in the center of each gable. Heavy, red-brick chimneys 
rise above the slate roof at regular intervals. The windows of the second 
and third floors are very high and the rooms which they light, judged by 
present-day standards, are immense. The red brickwork and black iron 
work of the facade give a touch of mid- Victorian, or more properly for 
New Orleans, Third Empire elegance. 

76. The Louisiana State Museum Library, 545 St. Ann Street (open from 
Tues. through Sat., 9-4), is located in the lower Pontalba Building. 
It was founded in 1910 by the curators of the Louisiana State Museum 
for the purpose of collecting and preserving historical, biographical, and 
genealogical data pertaining to Louisiana. Its collections include: archives 
of miscellaneous State documents in French and Spanish from 1718 to 
1803; old maps of New Orleans and Louisiana; newspaper files dating 
back to 1807; historical and genealogical publications of various States; 
bibliography of Louisiana authors and their works; and the Louisiana 
Historical Society s collection of books and documents, including a full 
file^of the society s quarterlies and other publications. The library is 
maintained on a strictly reference basis. 

77. The Presbytere. Just below the St. Louis Cathedral stands a two- 

258 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

story brick structure originally known by the Spanish ecclesiastical term, 
Casa Curial. This is the building now called the Presbytere. It is con 
structed along the same lines as the Cabildo, which adjoins the Cathedral 
on the upper side. 

Erection of the building was begun in 1794, but when the great fire of 
that year^ destroyed the buildings on the other side of the Cathedral the 
construction of the Curial was discontinued until the other buildings 
could be replaced. In the meantime Don Almonester, who was financing 
the venture, died, and his widow brought suit to be absolved from obliga 
tions to complete the structure. It is believed that the building was 
completed by the American Government in 1813, for at this time a part 
of the State courts moved their quarters here. In 1853, after the building 
had been used to house the lower courts for forty years, the mayor of the 
city paid the wardens of the St. Louis Cathedral $55,000 for the Pres 

The building, which is now owned by the State, is two stories high and 
constructed of stuccoed brick. The architecture is typically Spanish, with 
a French mansard roof. The lower story is of the Hispano-Moresque order 
with a wide portico along the facade. Four of the nine semicircular 
arches are supported by columns, and those at the angles by pilasters. 

Located in the Presbytere is the Louisiana State Museum, Natural 
Science Division (open daily except Mon. 9-5; admission free] . 

The museum began with a collection of products, resources, and speci 
mens of Louisiana fauna and flora that constituted the State s display 
at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held at St. Louis in 1904. When 
the exhibits were returned they formed the nucleus of a permanent exhibit, 
and an annual appropriation of $5000 was made for its maintenance. 
This first collection included agricultural products, such as rice, cotton, 
and sugar cane; a collection of native fauna; products relating to the 
State s mineral resources; and specimens from the fields of geology and 

Numerous large panoramic groups of birds and mammals native to 
Louisiana are among the best exhibits in the museum, but do not occupy 
a prominent place, being in one of the wings. These groups are ranged 
along passageways and may be electrically lighted. They show pelicans, 
wild geese, sea birds, bald eagle, deer, black bear, and swamp and reptile 
life. As a display of characteristic Louisiana life and scenery they are 
without counterpart. 

Just inside the entrance of the building may be seen some of the larger 
birds and mammals common to Louisiana, a bust and portrait of John 
James Audubon, the ornithologist, and under glass, a volume of Audu- 
bon s original edition of Birds of America. On the right of the lobby is a 
room used for lectures on scientific subjects, its walls lined with portraits 
of former sugar planters. In other rooms on the first floor are various 
agricultural exhibits of Louisiana, with their by-products. In this sec 
tion are miniatures of a cotton field at picking time, a rice field during 


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French Quarter Tour 259 

the threshing season, and a small model of a cottonseed oil factory. 
On the second floor one may see a model sugar-cane field and a perfect 
miniature of a modern sugar factory. 

The hallway of the second floor and the rooms to the east contain a 
series of zoological exhibits, including a striking display of more than 
one hundred species of humming birds from Peru and Ecuador. An 
interesting collection of fishes presents a vivid view of fish life off the 
Louisiana Gulf Coast. The specimens are modeled with unusual accu 
racy from casts of actual fish, and are colored accordingly. The collection 
includes tarpon, jewfish, triple- tail, or blackfish, shovel-nosed shark, 
sawfish, flying fish, puffer, and numerous other species common to 
Louisiana waters. In this group are several specimens of turtles and 
terrapins, as well as a number of skeletons of rare types. 

There is also an excellent display of various types of frogs occurring in 
Louisiana. They are very well modeled and colored from life. 

The snake collection is one of the best in the museum, containing speci 
mens of the banded rattler, diamond-back rattler, water moccasin, har 
lequin snake, horned or mud snake, blue racer, king snake, and several 
specimens of the numerous kinds of water snakes found in the State. 

The general collection of birds attracts much attention because of the 
rare and striking species of native birds found in the group. The sand- 
bill cranes, shown in a setting of. typical Louisiana lowland, include 
specimens of the young as well as the adult birds. There are examples of 
the large wood ibis, or wood stork, the scarlet ibis (a native of tropical 
America), the flamingo, spoonbill, and numerous small waders, such as 
the oyster-catcher, the long-billed curlew, and the black-necked stilt. 
In characteristic settings a variety of wild ducks are displayed, the adults 
and young in typical poses. Excellent examples of brown and white peli 
cans are shown, with several specimens of wild geese common to the State. 

One finds, likewise, an unusual assortment of exotic fowls, especially the 
fire-back pheasant, hazel-hen, blackcock, Hungarian partridge, and red 
grouse. In a separate case may be seen an attractive exhibit of bright- 
colored pheasants collected from different parts of the world. There 
are also examples of the Laysan albatross, African hornbill, Australian 
bower-bird, and the king-bird of paradise, a brilliant red species. 

In other sections displaying birds commonly found in Louisiana there 
are specimens of the snipe, woodcock, bald eagle, blue goose, and a variety 
of gulls, terns, and other seabirds, shown in typical settings, such as 
swamps or low marshlands. 

The collection of mammals is confined chiefly to species common in 
Louisiana, including gray fox, raccoon, opossum, mink, and muskrat. 

The precious old French and Spanish Colonial documents of the State 
archives, which are disintegrating with age, are being carefully repaired 
and deposited in fireproof vaults in the Presbytere. Copies in the orig 
inal and translations in English are being made and will soon be avail- 

260 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

able to research workers. Another valuable item is a card index to all 
inscriptions still decipherable on the headstones and tombs of the various 
cemeteries of the city. 

78. St. Louis Cathedral. Facing the old Place d Armes is the stately St. 
Louis Cathedral. The present structure, like its two predecessors, was 
named for the patron saint of Bourbon France, who was likewise made 
the patron saint of Nouvelle Orleans. 

The first church to occupy the site was a small structure of adobe and 
wood, erected by Bienville soon after he founded the city and called the 
Parish Church. This primitive building was destroyed by the hurricane 
that swept the city in 1723. For four years the colonists held their 
services in a rented building, but plans were made immediately for the 
erection of a new church. This second structure, of brick and wood with 
adobe plaster, was completed and dedicated in 1727 and served as a 
place of worship until the memorable Good Friday of March 21, 1788, 
when the first great fire of New Orleans destroyed nearly the entire city. 

So great was the financial loss resulting from the fire that the citizens 
were unable to rebuild immediately. At this time Don Andres Almonester 
y Roxas, the wealthy Spanish nobleman mentioned above, offered to 
erect at his own expense a new church for the city on condition that a 
mass would be said every Sunday in perpetuity after his death for the 
repose of his soul. The offer was accepted, and in return, honors in the 
ruling body (the Cabildo) were bestowed upon him. 

When Don Almonester died in 1798, his remains were at first interred in 
the parish cemetery. More than a year later they were removed to the 
Cathedral and placed under a marble slab beneath the altar of the 
Sacred Heart. On the slab are inscribed his name, coat of arms, and a 
brief account of his life and work. 

The structure, completed in 1794 at a cost of approximately $50,000, 
was of the usual Spanish style with two round towers in front, resembling 
the church buildings erected by the Spaniards in Mexico and South 
America. In 1793, when Louisiana was detached from Havana and made 
into a separate diocese, the New Orleans church was raised to the dig 
nity of a cathedral and called the Catedral de San Luis. 

In 1851 the structure was remodeled and enlarged by J. N. B. De Pouilly, 
architect of the old St. Louis Hotel. Steeples were raised on the towers, 
and the present portico, with its columns and pilasters, was added, chang 
ing the appearance of the facade considerably. Thirty years later the 
interior was repaired, Humbrecht being employed to restore the paintings. 
In 1916 the building was again reconditioned, the money for this having 
been furnished by an anonymous donor. 

On either side of the cathedral, running back the length of the block 
to Royal St., are Orleans and St. Anthony s Alleys. The former has of 
recent years come to be known as Pirates Alley, though there is no 
basis for this name. Facing Royal Street, behind the church, is St. 
Anthony s Garden, already mentioned. 

French Quarter Tour 261 

Facing the Royal St. entrance to the garden stands a marble monument 
erected in honor of thirty marines, part of the crew of the French bat 
tleship Tonnere, who died at the Quarantine Station in August 1857 
while serving (according to one account) as volunteer nurses during a 
yellow-fever epidemic. The monument was erected at the station by 
order of His Excellency, Admiral Hamelin, Minister of the Navy under 
Napoleon III. In 1914 the monument, along with the remains of the 
sailors, was removed from the station to its present location by the 
Souvenir Francais en Louisiane, a French society. 

Set in the midst of a small, square plot, planted with shrubbery and 
enclosed by a marble coping, the monument, in the form of a shaft, 
with a burial urn sculptured at the top, rises 15 feet from a pyramidal 
base. Inscribed on it are the names of the sailors buried there. 

79. The Cabildo. On the uptown side adjoining the St. Louis Cathedral 
stands the Cabildo, the ancient seat of Spanish rule. The history of this 
building, dating back to the year 1795, * s f exceptional interest. This 
was the scene of the formal transfer of Louisiana from France to the 
United States. 

As early as 1770 the Spaniards had erected their government building on 
this site, but the fire of 1788 destroyed it. Another erected soon after 
likewise fell a prey to flames in 1794, when the second great fire swept 
the town. The new capital house was erected the following year, and 
the Very Illustrious Cabildo, the Spanish administrative body for which 
it was built, moved into the new quarters. During the brief rule of 
the French in 1803, the building was called Maison de Ville, or Town Hall. 

After the erection of the Cabildo, the rule of Spain continued only eight 
years before the Colony was returned to France. Then after twenty 
days Governor Claiborne, displaying the American flag from the balcony 
of the Cabildo, announced the transfer of the province to the young 
republic of the United States. The official transactions took place in a 
large room on the second floor. When Lafayette visited New Orleans 
in 1825, he was received and welcomed at the Cabildo. Among other 
notables who were received here in the early days were Henry Clay, 
Sarah Bernhardt, the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, Mark Twain, Roose 
velt, McKinley, and Taft. 

The building, constructed of stuccoed brick, is one of the best examples 
of Hispano-Moresque architecture to be found in the city. The wide 
arches and the original flat tile roof showed definitely the Spanish influ 
ence. The French mansard roof, which was added in 1847, altered the 
appearance of the building to some extent. 

The Cabildo now houses the Louisiana State Museum (open daily except 
Mon., 9-5; admission is free), opened in 1911. Here is found a remarkable 
display of historical documents, relics, portraits, costumes, furniture, 
and mementos of every description. The art collection began with the 
portraits of General Beauregard and General Thomas and the painting 
of the Battle of New Orleans. Through gifts and purchases, additions 

262 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

were made to the collection until today scores of portraits adorn the 

An interesting exhibit of Indian trophies is on display here, as well as a 
number of personal mementos of famous characters. Louisiana s wild 
life is well represented with birds, snakes, and a large variety of animals. 
Specimens of agricultural products of the State, and old implements 
of various trades may be seen on the second floor. 

On the first floor is an interesting collection including the outmoded 
cigar-store Indian, scale models of old ships and river boats, and imple 
ments of all the trades practiced in Louisiana physicians equipment, 
optical instruments, early typewriters, cameras, cash boxes, etc. 

In the courtyard are one or two cannon. In the several prison rooms 
facing the court, displays have been arranged. In the first, a slave block, 
slave bell, and paintings of Negro characters such as Marie Laveau are 
found. The second room holds an old soda-water machine and an early 
American wood carving of a Negro figure (life-size) in the act of pound 
ing a druggist s mortar. The other rooms contain Colonial locks and 
keys, a Colonial kitchen, and various articles of this period. The relics 
of the Baratarian pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte comprise an interesting 
collection in the group. The most noteworthy among these are the box 
compass, spy glass, ship s lantern, water jug, candlestick, powder horn, 
folding knives, whisky bottle, drinking glasses, and playing cards. 
There are also specimens of the Spanish silver coin called by the pirates 
pieces of eight. 

The Louisiana Transfer Room on the second floor has been arranged 
as an art gallery, containing portraits of Louisianians who have become 
famous in the various fields of adventure, discovery, statesmanship, 
war, commerce, education, literature, and music. The collection of 
Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Louisiana s most eminent composer and 
musician, is of particular interest. This includes a jeweled silver wreath 
and several silk streamers from floral offerings given Gottschalk at 
various performances in North and South America. There is also a 
bust of the composer in plaster and several old manuscripts of his com 
positions, signed letters, concert programs, and tickets. 

Probably the most interesting exhibit in this room is the famous death 
mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, made and donated to the city by the 
Emperor s personal physician, Dr. Francois Antommarchi. The bronze 
cast of the exiled general reposes on imperial red cloth of damask, enclosed 
in a glass case mounted on a base of ebony and gold finish. The mask 
rests on the very spot where it was presented to the city in 1834, and 
where thirty-one years before the Louisiana Transfer ceremonies were 
held. The mold of Napoleon s head was made by his physician just forty 
hours after his death on May 5, 1821. It is said that the bronze mask 
at the Cabildo is the first of the three replicas made of the original. 

The archeological collection of the State Museum contains almost every 
form of prehistoric relic found in Louisiana. Typical specimens are shown 

French Quarter Tour 263 

in the various cases. Pottery presents great variation in details. There 
are specimens of the Greek, Roman, Oriental, and modern types of clay 
products. Several teapots, pitchers, and other objects of the well-known 
Bennington Rockingham ware are found in the collection. 

The exhibition cases on the third floor contain the story of the Carnival, 
costumes, jewels, the story of the rise and fall in the fashions of men 
and women s clothes, early furniture, and a life mask of Enrico Caruso, 
a plaster cast made in the museum studio from an original bronze loaned 
by Col. R. E. E. de Montluzin. 

80. The Battle Abbey, behind the Cabildo, contains relics and trophies of 
all the wars, from Indian days to the World War. A collection of personal 
mementos of famous characters and objects of their personal use are 
included. Relics of the Battle of New Orleans and those of the Civil 
War compose most of the exhibit. One particularly interesting object 
in the display is the catafalque used for the transfer on May 31, 1893, 
of Jefferson Davis from Metairie Cemetery to the railroad station for 
burial at Richmond, Va. 

The Arsenal was formerly the site of the Spanish prison. The two build 
ings known as the Jackson House and Calabozo, which adjoin the Arsenal, 
were gifts of the late William Ratcliffe Irby, banker and philanthropist. 
Jackson House has recently been reconstructed on the original plans by 
the W.P.A. and is now a meeting-place of the Daughters of 1812. 

81. Le Petit Salon, 620 St. Peter Street. Here stands another typical 
Creole home widely admired for the ironwork of its balconies. This resi 
dence, built in 1838 by Victor David, is now owned by an exclusive 
organization of New Orleans women known as Le Petit Salon. Grace 
King, author and historian of old New Orleans, served as its first presi 
dent. The group is now headed by Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer, better 
known to readers as Dorothy Dix. 

82. The Little Theater, 616 St. Peter Street, is the outgrowth of an organ 
ization known as the Drawing-Room Players, formed in 1916 by a 
small group of men and women interested in dramatic art and in the 
cultural traditions of the Vieux Carre. As the original name implies, 
performances were at first given in the drawing-rooms of members. 
While the initial productions were mostly one-act plays, they were 
modeled after the best examples of professional stagecraft. 

Within three years the organization boasted a membership of 500 and 
it became necessary to lease special quarters. An apartment in the lower 
Pontalba Building was procured, and the members busied themselves 
transforming a dingy hall into a small theater which, when ready for 
occupancy, had a seating capacity of 184 persons, and a small but 
attractive stage. There were no paid employees, all work such as cos 
tume designing and stage decoration being done by members. In a short 
time membership increased to 600, and a few years later to 1000 with a 
waiting-list of several hundred. 

264 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

In 1922 the present site on St. Peter St. was purchased and a building 
erected housing an auditorium seating approximately 500. The mem 
bership limit was extended to 2000 and plays were given six nights a 
week, once a month from October until May. Membership continued 
to increase until a maximum was reached for seven nights of performances. 
Along with growth in membership the Little Theater progressed in artistic 
achievement. With adequate stage quarters full-length plays were billed, 
an art director, secretary and stage mechanic being employed. Among 
the first major productions were Eugene O Neill s Beyond the Horizon, 
Oscar Wilde s Lady Windermere s Fan, and Flo Field s A La Creole/ 

The building housing the organization is of characteristic Creole archi 
tecture, its facade being modeled along the lines of the old Absinthe 
House on Bourbon Street. Its broad doors, large fan windows, solid 
shutters, and projecting iron balconies make it one of the chief attrac 
tions of downtown New Orleans. The well-landscaped courtyard is 
usually open to visitors. 

The original membership fee, placed at $10 a year, has never been 
changed. A few tickets for individual performances are set aside for 
sale to tourists. 
Continue on Chartres St. 

83. Courtyard of the Vine, 614 Chartres Street. Turning back into Chartres 
Street, one finds, near the corner of Wilkinson, an old building once 
owned by John McDonogh. It is not the house, however, that attracts 
the visitor, but the great, twisted wistaria vine growing in the courtyard 
at the rear of the building. The court is entered through a narrow 
passageway, the gates being open at all times. 

The wistaria vine is said to be more than a hundred years old. The 
trunk of the vine has grown to enormous size, and the roots have spread 
so far that other sprouts have grown up, making a network. Wires 
have been strung across the court to support the heavy branches. 

To see it at its best, the courtyard should be visited around the middle 
of March. At this time the great vine is full of purple blossoms, and the 
yard is fragrant with the heavy odor of the wistaria. 

R. from Chartres St. on Toulouse St. 

84. 628 Toulouse Street. Near the middle of the block, just off Chartres 
Street, stands a large Spanish Creole home which is the old residence 
of Jean Francois Jacob. Tradition, however, has designated this as the 
home of William Charles Cole Claiborne, the first American Governor 
of Louisiana, but early directories show that the Governor resided on 
Old Levee St. 

The building, erected in 1813, is a gray, three-story structure constructed 
of cement-covered brick with a paved, tunnel-like entrance and a flagged 
courtyard in the rear. Opening onto the courtyard is one of the largest 
fan windows to be found in the Quarter. Winding stairways, leading 
to the upper floors, are on either side of the court. 

French Quarter Tour 265 

Return and continue on Chartres St. 

85. Site of the First Fire, 538 Chartres Street. Almost 150 years ago 
Don Jose Vincente Nunez, paymaster of the Army, had his home on 
the downtown river corner of Chartres and Toulouse Sts. It was in 
this home that the great fire which destroyed four-fifths of the French 
city began. 

On the evening of Good Friday, March 21, 1788, a fire broke out in the 
Nunez residence, a drapery having caught fire from a candle lighted 
before a shrine. Most of the citizens were at their devotions and the 
flames were not discovered immediately. When the alarm was raised, 
efforts to arrest the spread of fire were thwarted by a strong south wind, 
and before the evening was gone 856 buildings had been burned to the 
ground, including the old parochial church, the city jail, the barracks, 
the armory, and the greater part of the city archives. Only those build 
ings along the levee of the Mississippi River escaped destruction. 

It is interesting to note that the second great fire of the city likewise 
happened when the citizens were at their devotions. The Feast of the 
Immaculate Conception was being observed December 8, 1794, when a 
fire broke out on Royal St. and consumed more than 200 buildings in 
the heart of the city. Following this second disaster, Governor Carondelet 
issued an order that all future buildings of two or more stories erected 
in the center of the city should be of brick. 

86. 514 Chartres Street. The visitor will be somewhat confused when 
walking along the fifth block of Chartres St. to find two old buildings 
both displaying signs claiming the distinction of being the Napoleon 
House. Probably no two buildings in the Vieux Carre have had occasion 
for more speculation than these. However, the old Girod home at 500 
Chartres St. seems to have more claim to this name than the residence 
at 514, since Mayor Girod, who occupied the building, is said to have 
offered his home to the exile of St. Helena should he come to New Orleans. 

But the legends are interesting. Guidebooks which have long sub 
scribed to these claim that the building at 514 Chartres was erected and 
furnished for Napoleon with funds supplied by Nicholas Girod, the city s 
mayor. Plans were made to rescue the prisoner, and the expedition 
was actually planned and only fell through by the unexpected announce 
ment of the death of the martyr-emperor. Dominique You, lieutenant 
of the well-known Lafitte, was to have commanded a crew of Baratarians 
on this bold venture. 

Examination of old records has disclosed what is probably an authentic 
account of the building. Six months after funeral services and mass 
were held at the St. Louis Cathedral for Napoleon, and almost a year 
after his death apothecary Dufilho purchased the site and erected his 
pharmacy there. The druggist opened his business on the ground floor 
and used the upper apartments for living quarters. 

It was formerly one of the handsomest buildings in this section, but at 
present it is in ruins. Mayor Maestri has recently purchased the building, 
however, and it will be restored. 

266 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

87. Napoleon House, 500 Chartres Street. The old Girod home, better 
known as the Napoleon House/ carries with it a fascinating story of 
legend and romance. The Napoleon Refuge tradition evidently grew 
out of an incident in which Mayor Girod of New Orleans offered his 
home to the exiled emperor, should he arrive in the city. An admiring 
and enthusiastic public perpetuated the tradition, and for almost 115 
years a variety of stories relating to Napoleon s home have been handed 
down as factual. 

Henry C. Castellanos, commenting upon the tradition, states that the 
only basis for this legend which has been discovered is the fact that 
when Napoleon escaped from Elba, the news reached New Orleans while 
the leading citizens were assembled at the St. Philip Theater, later the 
Washington Ballroom, at a dramatic performance there. The wildest 
enthusiasm prevailed ; the entertainment broke up and the excited popu 
lace, among whom Napoleon was extremely popular, collected at the 
Cabildo. The impression was current that the Emperor would make for 
America; nowhere could he count on so warm a welcome and feel him 
self so entirely at home as in New Orleans. Mayor Girod made a speech 
in which he dwelt on those ideas and announced that he would place his 
residence at the disposition of the illustrious exile upon arrival. 

Early accounts claim that Mayor Girod, a wealthy philanthropist, was 
chiefly responsible for the organization of a plot to rescue the hero of 
Austerlitz from his St. Helena prison, and furnished the funds to build a 
yacht, the Seraphine, which was to be used in the expedition. The 
boat was to be commanded by a certain Captain Bossier, and was to 
carry a daredevil crew of Baratarians under the leadership of the ex- 
pirate Dominique You. His [Dominique You s] intention was to effect a 
landing on St. Helena by night, abduct the imperial prisoner, and rely 
upon the fleetness of his vessel to outstrip pursuit. It was claimed further 
that the plot had the knowledge and approval of Napoleon and his 
bodyguards, and that they had entered into the scheme. 

A frenzy of excitement gripped New Orleans as the citizens pictured a 
lonely prisoner, watching from the heights of a rocky island, waiting to 
be rescued and brought to the new land. But the death of the famous 
exile before the expedition could be gotten under way deprived the world 
of a news sensation. 

A very recently publicized legend has it that Napoleon managed to effect 
an escape from St. Helena, and a dummy was buried instead of the 
one-time emperor s corpse. Napoleon then started to Louisiana, but died 
en route and his body was buried in Lafitte, Louisiana, along with John 
Paul Jones and the pirate Jean Lafitte. 

It was in this same building in 1834, thirteen years after the death of 
Napoleon, that his physician at St. Helena, Dr. Antommarchi, located 
one of his offices, at which the poor of the city were given medical atten 
tion without charge. 
The old Girod home, now more than 140 years old, is still in good condi- 

French Quarter Tour 267 

tion. It is an excellent example of the French style of building during 
this period. The structure is of stuccoed brick, three stories high with a 
cupola at the top. There is a two-story ell along the St. Louis Street side, 
formerly used as slave quarters. A winding stairway connects the ground 
floor with the upper apartments. 

The first floor now houses a grocery store, restaurant, and bar. The 
second and third floors have been made into living quarters. The build 
ing was recently selected by the advisory committee of the Historic 
Buildings Survey as one of the houses worthy of preservation because 
of its historical interest. 

L. from Chartres St. on St. Louis St. 

88. 533 St. Louis Street. The old Chesneau residence, frequently called 
the Lafitte Bank, is a typical relic of the days of the Spanish builders. 
Few buildings in the downtown section have attracted more attention 
from architects or served as models for more homes than this building. 
Simple and unobtrusive, it is a two-story structure of stuccoed brick, 
with massive walls and large openings. The design of the wrought-iron 
balcony, of the brackets supporting it, and of the grills before the large 
windows is striking in its graceful simplicity. The ceiling of the first 
floor of the main body of the house is much higher than that of the second. 
The apartments to the rear of the house are so arranged as to make exactly 
two floors corresponding to the tall first floor of the house; the third 
floor is on the same level as the second floor of the main house. In the 
slave quarters, which are arranged along the rear wall of the courtyard, 
the ceilings are again of irregular height, each floor being taller than the 
corresponding floor of the wing, with the result that the slave quarters 
are taller than the house itself. An arched carriageway runs along one 
side of the house, opening on a flagged court in the rear. A glass-enclosed 
porch on the second floor, supported by three arches and having fine fan 
windows, overlooks the courtyard. A graceful spiral stairway, lacking a 
supporting center post, gives access to the rear apartments. 

The structure was erected by Jean Louis Chesneau in 1800 as a residence. 
At the beginning of the Civil War the building (then 19 St. Louis Street) 
became the house of Lafitte and Dufilho, real-estate merchants, a fact 
which probably accounts for the general belief that this building housed 
a bank operated by the Lafitte brothers. There is nothing to show that 
the Lafitte member of the firm was related to the celebrated Baratarians. 

Return and continue on Chartres St. 

89. Maspero s Exchange, 440 Chartres Street. Of all the spots of historic 
interest in the French city, probably none has witnessed more actual 
drama than the old Exchange Coffee House, better known today as 
Maspero s Exchange. For many years during the early part of the i9th 
century this was the gathering place for the most picturesque characters 
of the Creole city. Here judges, generals, soldiers, merchants, and planters 
met to carry on commercial transactions, and the gay buccaneers of 
Barataria gathered in secret meetings. News and gossip of the day 

268 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

were exchanged over cups of coffee, and public announcements of sen 
sational events were read aloud by the town crier. 

The Exchange building is one of the oldest in this part of the city, having 
been erected in 1788 by Don Juan Paillet. The property remained in the 
possession of his descendants almost a century. The establishment was 
probably the best-known auction mart of the city in the early days, 
and one of the most popular places for public entertainment. 

The first two decades of the igth century were filled with exciting events 
in New Orleans, and in these the Coffee House played an interesting role. 
It was here on the second floor, behind locked doors, that Jean and Pierre 
Lafitte and their followers met and planned many of their activities, 
and here it was that they received those so-called " respectable citizens" 
who came to see them in private. 

It is claimed that the defense of New Orleans was planned here by Lafitte 
and Jackson. When the general was arraigned before Judge Hall and 
fined $1000 for contempt of court, it was to the Coffee House that the 
mob repaired to hear Jackson make his speech and refuse the $1000 purse 
made up by citizens. 

L. from Chartres St. on Iberuille St.; R. from Iberuille on Decatur St. 

90. Custom House. The Custom House, occupying the block bounded 
by Decatur, Iberville, North Peters, and Canal Sts., stands on what in 
earlier days was the levee of the river. Fort St. Louis once occupied 
the site, but was torn down by the Americans for the erection of a court 
house, which in 1848 was razed, along with a bethel standing near-by, 
for the construction of the present custom house. It is interesting to 
note that in the space of two centuries the Mississippi has receded approx 
imately four city blocks to the east and has built up an extensive batture 
of alluvial soil now the foundation for numerous large buildings. 

Henry Clay was present at the laying of the cornerstone in 1849. A. T. 
Wood was the architect and General P. G. T. Beauregard the technical 
supervisor. The War between the States intervened, and it was years 
before the structure was even approximately finished, the upper floor 
never being completed. General Butler, after taking possession of New 
Orleans in 1862, used the Decatur Street side as an office suite. The 
unfinished upper portion of the building was used as a military prison 
for Confederate soldiers. In the room under the Sub-Treasury office, 
Mumford, Confederate martyr, who had torn down the United States 
flag, was confined before his execution at the Old Mint. 

The preparation of the foundation of the present building affords an 
interesting contrast to modern construction methods in which deep- 
driven piles, steel, and reinforced concrete are used. Heavy cypress 
planking, 7 feet in depth, was surmounted by a grillage of 1 2-inch logs 
and topped with a i-foot layer of concrete. This apparently flimsy 
footing has well supported the four-story structure, a subsidence of only 
a foot or two one end more than the other being noticeable. 

French Quarter Tour 


It was built of Quincy (Mass.) granite on a brick base at a cost of 
$5,000,000. Its classic simplicity is reflected in the Egyptian exterior 
and Grecian interior. Four center columns are rather highly decorative, 
while four columns at each end of the building are severely flat, with 
only half of their surfaces in bas-relief. In order to decrease the weight 
of the building, the Egyptian cornice was redesigned and recast in iron; 
the cupola has never been added, for the same reason. 

The Marble Hall, the large business room of the Customs Department 
in the center of the building on the second floor, is considered one of the 
handsomest rooms to be found anywhere. Although not as large as the 
famous St. George s Hall of Liverpool, England, it is more remarkable 
in that only marble and iron have been used in its construction. Meas 
uring 128 by 84 feet with a height of 58 feet, it has panels of life-size 
bas-reliefs of Bienville and Jackson. The ceiling consists of a white and 
gold iron frame set with enormous .ground glass plates supported by 
fourteen columns of pure white marble. The floor, of white and black 
marble, is set with heavy glass to afford light to the rooms below. As 
one enters from the comparatively dark and narrow corridors, the sun 
light-suffused hall appears to be the glorified counting-room of a king. 


ONE of the most interesting outings for the tourist in New Orleans is a 
trip along the docks and water-front. It is here that an entirely different 
phase of the city s varied life is to be found, and sweeping panoramic 
views of city streets and winding river shore may be enjoyed. 
Early, on a clear morning, the tourist will be treated to a view of the 
sun rising in the western sky, an illusion explained by the fact that al 
though New Orleans is, geographically speaking, on the east bank of the 
river, and Algiers, behind which the sun rises, is on the west bank, the 
Mississippi runs due north at Canal St. One also has the unique experi 
ence of going up to the river. The difference between the street level 
and the summit of the levee is noticeable at first glance. During periods 
of high water the level of the river is ten to twenty feet higher than the 
street level, but this condition is only seasonal, and at normal stages, 
or during low water, the river is slightly above the level of most of the city. 
Standing on Eads Plaza at the foot of Canal St. and facing toward the 
city one has a magnificent view of Canal St., a crowded artery of traffic 
penetrating the heart of the city in a straight line that finally blurs in 
the distance. On each side, the crowded buildings of the business section 
pile up against the sky, while on the right is the Vieux Carre in venerable 
age, a striking and charming contrast to the new city built on the left 
by the Americans through decades of enterprise. 

The river in front of New Orleans is about half a mile wide. The expanse 
of muddy water writhes between the yellow clay banks of the levees 
carrying driftwood, small boats, and oceangoing vessels on its surface. 
Sea gulls from the Gulf sweep and soar above it searching for fish. Cloud 
shadows darken its surface, and the wind writes mysterious script in 
swiftly changing ripples that swirl above eddies and whirlpools. Often, 
in the winter, fogs cover its surface, and the constant sound of fog horns 
echoes between its hidden shores. It is a dim place of mystery in the 
blanketing darkness of night, with only the stars and the diffused lights 
of the city reflected in its turbulent current. In late spring, swollen with 
the icy water of its tributaries, it rushes past the city, gnawing at the 

Water- Front Tour 271 

imprisoning banks it once had the privilege of overflowing each year. 
Yet, in spite of its hostility to man, it has a fascination, a calming in 
fluence, and an eloquent silence that tells of the distant and strange 
places from whence its waters come and go and of the history unfolded 
on its banks. A trip along the New Orleans waterfront is indeed an ex 
perience to be remembered. 

The levee at the foot of Canal St. has been made into a riverside plaza 
with balustrade and steps and concrete platform. The attractive office 
building of the Board of Port Commissioners, familiarly known as the 
Dock Board, stands on the left of Canal St., while the high viaduct, 
which carries the Algiers traffic, cuts off the view on the right-hand side. 
The wharf-ends are finished in the same design as the office building, but 
the evident attempt at group architecture is impaired by the viaduct, 
which divides the plaza into uneven sections and hides the lower wharf- 
end from view. 

A colorful pageant of many changes has been unfolded here for four 
hundred years. The followers of De Soto passed down the river, after he 
died in 1543, on their way to Mexico. La Salle and Tonti passed in 1682. 
Indians and French voyageurs followed in pirogue and canoe; sailing ships 
from far countries struggled up from the sea; flatboats and keel boats 
from the upper reaches of the Ohio descended in ever-growing numbers. 
Then, in 1812, a strange craft, belching smoke and traveling without the 
aid of oar or sail, arrived from Pittsburgh, after having passed through 
the terrors of the New Madrid earthquake, to inaugurate steamboat 
navigation of the Mississippi. By 1820, flatboats and oceangoing ships 
were piling the levee high with merchandise of every variety, and pouring 
out streams of passengers and workmen into the narrow lanes between 
the piles of goods. Sometimes the swollen river, laden with uprooted 
trees and wreckage, splashed over the levee top into the streets below, 
chilling the hearts of the citizens with fear of flood. It was here, in 1862, 
that Federal warships under Farragut covered the city with their guns 
while wharves and shipping went up in smoke and flame. King Rex used 
to land here on the day preceding Mardi Gras, arriving from his mythical 
kingdom to take possession of the city and rule over its gay and noisy 

A walk on the levee was a favorite outing with Orleanians in the early 
days. After the levee became crowded with wharves and merchandise 
it was still a favorite Sunday promenade for the poorer classes, and even 
today it is not an unpopular walking place, especially on open stretches 
such as the one between Audubon Park and Southport. 
A word picture of the old levee by Pere Rouquette, one of the most gifted 
of the Creole poets, describes it as it was in 1837: 

Promenade du Soir sur La Levee 
Me voila cheminant, le soir sur la Levee, 
L oeil a terre baisse, Tame au ciel elevee! 
Plus de have Irlandais, de rouge matelot, 
Qui roule le baril, ou pousse le ballot; 

272 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

Plus de ces drays pesants, a la chaine bruyante, 

Qui voilent le soleil de poussiere etouffante; 

Mais la foule, au bruit sourd, ce flot calme et mouvant, 

Qui cause et qui regarde un navire arrivant; 

La gros negotiant, Fame tout inquiete, 

Qui cherche a lire au loin; Salem, ou Lafayette; 

La mere, qui vient voir s il arrive un enfant; 

L ami, s il vient a bord un ami qu il pressent; 

Le marchand qui, cupide, attend ses modes neuves, 

Modes de jeune fille et d oublieuses veuves; 

Et tandis que groupes, et dans Panxiete, 

Ceux-ci pleins de tristesse, et ceux-la de gaite, 

Us causent, moi, je passe; et, poursuivant mon reve, 

Je m en vais, parcourant la longue et blanche greve; 

Contemplant, tour a tour, les bois et le ciel bleu; 

Jetant mes vers au fleuve, et ma priere a Dieu! 

An Evening s Promenade on the Levee 
Here, tonight, I wander on the levee; 
My eye to earth cast down, my soul to Heaven lifted! 
No more pale Irishmen, no more ruddy sailors, 
To roll the barrel or wheel the bale; 
No ponderous drays with clanking chains, 
To veil the sun with stifling dust; 
Only the rumbling crowd, a slow, surging wave, 
Glibly prating and watching a distant packet; 
The portly executive, anxiously 
Squinting to discover what cargo she brings; 
The anxious mother, ever hoping, half despairing, 
Hoping to greet a son; the friend a friend expecting; 
The greedy merchant, nervously awaiting 
Latest styles for young maidens and forgetful gay widows. 
Whereas, in anxious small groups they huddle, 
Some filled with sorrow, some with joy; 
While they chatter, I pass, pursuing my revery, 
And wander along the endless white strand; 
Distracted anon by the woods and the heavens, 
I fling my verses to the River and my prayer to God! 

Although differing slightly in outline and minor structural features, the 
wharves are, for the most part, all built on the same plan. The floor is 
usually of concrete on the levee top, and of heavy timber construction 
on the riverside extension. A high steel shed covers the entire area, with 
the exception of the loading platforms on each side. Railroad tracks 
parallel the platform on the city side so that merchandise can be handled 
directly from ship to car or vice versa. Occasionally, as at the banana 
wharves, the Stuyvesant Docks, and the Cotton Warehouse, the railroad 
tracks are built out on the shipside or riverside platform for greater 
convenience. It may also be noticed that none of these large wharves 
is built on solid foundations. The superstructure rests upon a series of 
posts, usually wood, but sometimes concrete, which in turn are based on 

Water-Front Tour 273 

piling driven deep into the levee side. A foundation of heavy material 
would slide into the river. 

The Port of New Orleans, administered by the Board of Commissioners 
of the Port of New Orleans, a State agency, has a total water frontage, 
including river and lakes, of 133 miles. Of this, 50 miles is on the Missis 
sippi and ii miles on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal. The wharf 
system of New Orleans proper extends about 10 miles along the river-front 
from the Public Coal and Bulk Commodity Handling Plant to the 
Chalmette Slip. Approximately 6 miles of steel transit sheds, one stretch 
of which is more than 2 miles in length, are served by wharves, which, 
being parallel to the river, enable ships to dock without the assistance of 
tugboats. The wharves, concrete for the most part, rest on wooden piles; 
the sheds are constructed of steel framework with galvanized corrugated 
steel walls. Numerous fire walls make the quay system exceptionally 
fireproof. The standard width of the wharf-apron is 20 to 30 feet; of the 
sheds 200 feet; and of the concrete roadway in the rear 30 feet. The 
Public Belt Railroad services the sheds, while shipside tracks have been 
provided where needed. 

Administration of the port is invested in the Board of Commissioners, 
consisting of five citizens appointed by the Governor and serving without 
pay for six-year terms. A general manager, who has active charge of all 
administration, is selected by the Board. Self-sustaining and without 
taxing power, the duties and privileges of the Board are: to regulate 
commerce and traffic of the port and harbor, and to take charge of and 
administer the wharves and public landings; to construct new wharves 
and sheds, and place and keep same in good condition; to maintain suf 
ficient depth of water and to provide for lighting and policing; to collect 
fees from vessels using harbor and facilities, and to purchase and ap 
propriate wharves and landings where necessary. All facilities are open 
on equal conditions to all shippers, and charges made against ships are 
based on gross cargo tonnage discharged or received. 

Ninety steamship lines, two barge lines, and nine trunk railroad lines 
make use of the harbor. Warehouse facilities consist of 24 public ware 
houses for general use, 2 public cold-storage plants, 9 private cotton 
warehouses, and 5 railroad cotton warehouses. Wharves of various kinds 
and sizes are maintained by 28 industrial plants on the west bank and 18 
on the east bank of the river. 

The State controls 43 docks, the value of which, including equipment, 
amounts to $53,000,000. Chief among the port facilities are the 6 dry- 
docks, the largest of which can accommodate ships up to 15,000 tons. 
Ten fuel oil companies operate in the harbor, each with private wharves. 
Bulk vegetable oil equipment, grain elevators, and a bulk loading plant 
are other major facilities. Sugar, bananas, and coffee are taken care of 
by special equipment. 

The Erato, Desire, and Pauline Street Wharves are equipped with a total 
of 14 automatic pocket unloaders for the handling of bananas, each with 

274 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

an unloading capacity of 2500 bunches per hour. The normal movement 
of bananas through the port is 23,000,000 stems per year. 

The river-front can be seen best in two separate trips, an uptown and a downtown 
tour, both of which start at the foot of Canal St. at Eads Plaza, and can be made 
either in an automobile or on foot. The levee, from Jefferson Ave. to Southport, 
however, can be seen only on foot. By automobile the road lies partly under the 
transit sheds, partly on paved outside roads on the city side of the docks, and at 
the cotton warehouse on the wide riverside platform of the wharf. The wharves 
are open from? A.M. to 4 P.M. The dock superintendents and foremen are courteous 
and pleasant. In making the tour on foot the best plan to follow is to walk along 
the riverside platform, looking into the open transit shed doors as one passes. 
When some point of interest on the inside of the levee is reached a crossing can 
be made through the transit shed to view it from the carloading platform. If an 
automobile is used, it will be necessary to park at times in the transit shed and 
seek out a better vantage point on foot. A tour of the harbor, taking in all the 
points of interest on both sides of the river, may be made on one of the excursion 
boats that dock at the foot of Canal St. (See local newspapers for hours and rates.) 


(For Points of Interest i to 159 see pages 286 /0 357.) 

The following street-cars roughly parallel the tour route: Magazine car from 
Canal and Magazine Sts. ; St. Charles car from Canal and Baronne Sts. 

1 60. Coffee, to the extent of thousands of bags yearly, is unloaded at the 
Poydras St. Wharf, first stop on the uptown tour. 

Concrete ramps lead to the second story on the city side for the con 
venience of trucks. Information can be readily obtained from the Dock 
Superintendent as to when the next coffee ship is to be unloaded. 

An interesting feature of former days, still surviving in the handling of 
coffee, is the flag system of unloading freight, a method devised to take 
care of the many illiterate dock hands to whom written signs, used to 
sort materials, were meaningless. Flags, about 12 by 18 inches in length 
and of various colors with designs of stars, moons, birds, or alligators, 
are placed wherever different shipments or lots of merchandise are to be 
piled. The longshoremen, as they pass with their loads, are tapped on 
the shoulder by a foreman, who indicates the pile to which the carrier is 
to go by shouting the color or design of its flag. The system is very ef 
ficient, and provides employment to unskilled workers, with the ex 
ception of the color-blind illiterate. 

A dredge boat can usually be seen at this section of the levee, especially 
during low water, dredging silt away from the dockside to maintain the 
required 30-foot depth. The current of the river shoots toward the west 
bank, and unless removed, silt will accumulate on the east bank in front 
of the wharves. 

The freight sheds and railroad yards of the Louisville and Nashville 
Railroad, always a busy place, are at the foot of Julia St., just beyond 
the Julia St. Wharf. 

Water-Front Tour 275 

161. Bananas are unloaded at the Thalia St. Wharf, which is used by the 
United Fruit Company. The wharf has two sheds, one for bananas and 
another for passengers. The greatest activity on the water-front will be 
found where the larger steamship companies make their landings, and 
there is always a lively scene when a passenger boat docks. 

Half a dozen railroad spurs run into the banana shed at right angles and 
extend out to the riverside platform. Here are located the banana con 
veyors, constructed so that they can be lowered into the hatchways. 
Workmen in the hold of the ship place the bunches of bananas in the 
conveyor pockets which lift them to the wharf, where they are taken by 
carriers who tote them on their shoulders to railroad cars after being 
sorted, at sight, by men skilled in the profession. There is an element of 
danger in the work as tarantula spiders and large, green snakes (tree 
snakes and small boa constrictors) often hide in the bunches. The over 
ripe and broken bunches are sold to peddlers, who resell them in trucks 
and wagons in the city streets. The banana ships dock almost every other 
day. Exact information concerning their unloading can be obtained easily. 

162. The Railroad Ferry Landings of the Trans-Mississippi Railroad Co. 
break the line of wharves between the Erato and Robin St. Wharves. 
Here the Texas and Pacific passenger and freight trains are transferred 
from the Annunciation Street Depot to the west bank. One of the ferries, 
the Gouldsboro, saw service during the Civil War as the monitor 
Chickasaw. All transcontinental railroad traffic had to be ferried across 
the river at New Orleans until the Huey P. Long Bridge was completed 
in 1935 at Nine-Mile Point. The landing of a railroad ferry, an interest 
ing sight, is always attended with an element of risk; yet for more than 
fifty years many trains have been handled in this manner daily without a 
single serious accident. 

163. The Robin Street Wharf begins at the foot of Terpsichore St. Here 
one sees a surprising variety of merchandise hogsheads of tobacco, 
farm machinery, automobiles, cartons of carbon black, stacks of raw 
food products, and canned goods of every description. Lumber and mill- 
work and bales of cotton are encountered in every transit shed. 

At the foot of Market St., opposite the Market St. Wharf, stands the 
massive power plant of the New Orleans Public Service Corporation. 
Submarine cables from this plant carry power across the river bottom to 
the west bank. Near-by is the site of the old city water-works which sup 
plied unfiltered water to the business section of the city for many years. 

164. The Jackson Avenue Ferry, connecting the city with Gretna, makes 
another break in the wharf line. Here at the ferry landing, as well as at 
other points along the docks, boys may be seen diving and swimming in 
the river in warm weather. It is a dangerous sport and is discouraged by 
the port authorities. Until recently the river was the only swimming- 
place available to the poor, many of the elders of the city having learned 
their first strokes under the wharves. 

Just above Jackson Ave. and across the railroad tracks there is an open 

276 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

playground on Soraparu St., for many years the heart of the Irish 
Channel, a district noted for its lawlessness in the decades following the 
Civil War. In the early part of the igth century this section was the 
civic center of the City of Lafayette, which was annexed to New Orleans 
in 1852. It was a center of shipping and a favorite haunt of Lafitte, 
pirate and smuggler, who came up from Barataria into the river through 
what afterwards became Harvey Canal. 

A driveway extends all the way from Jackson to Louisiana Ave. through 
the transit sheds. Many foreign ships dock in this section and on any 
day German, Norwegian, Japanese, Italian, or Russian ships may be 
seen. At the Louisiana end of the wharves a few fishermen may usually 
be found either fishing with lines from the docks, or with a dip net at 
the water level. The docks have long been a favorite fishing-place, espe 
cially with the Negroes, who find river catfish particularly to their liking. 

165. The Seventh Street Wharf recalls an incident typical of the New 
Orleans levee. The old wharf which preceded the present one began to 
settle one day and, despite attempts to hold it, gradually sank out of 
sight into the soft mud of the levee. A quicksand deposit had developed 
underneath. The same thing has happened to other wharves. In 1908 
when the Dock Board was expropriating property along the river-front, 
an old open wharf which stood at the foot of Washington Ave. in those 
days and to which the Dock Board had just taken title suddenly disap 
peared into the river, carrying a train of freight cars with it. This sort of 
thing rarely happens now, but constant vigilance is required since weak 
spots may develop at any time in the levee. To ward off the danger every 
wharf is anchored by wire cables to buried dutchmen on the inside of the 

1 66. The Stuyvesant Docks of the Illinois Central Railroad Co. occupy the 
river-front from Louisiana to Napoleon Ave. These docks are the oldest 
on the river-front, having been built about 1907 to replace the docks 
destroyed by fire. Much of their area is empty now because of the recent 
slump in business, but during the World War many carloads of freight 
were handled here daily. The Illinois Central Railroad yards, repair 
shops, round houses, etc., lie behind the docks. One is impressed by the 
distance between the docks and the streets of the city in this section. 
Elsewhere, the city begins at the very foot of the levee, but here large 
unoccupied spaces and wide railroad yards intervene. 

167. The Public Cotton Warehouses are situated just above Napoleon Ave. 
The group consists of three parallel rows of two-story concrete warehouses 
equipped with compressing machinery and affording 33 acres of ware 
house space. The riverside loading platform and adjoining dock are over 
2000 feet in length. Accommodations exist for the simultaneous loading 
or unloading of 258 cars. Electric traveling cranes, gasoline tractors, and 
trailers, and a complete machine shop make up the equipment. Three 
Webb standard high-density cotton presses have a capacity of 100 bales 
per hour. There are 33 acres of covered warehouse space with a storage 

Water-Front Tour 277 

capacity of 461,856 high-density bales. The daily unloading capacity is 
7500 bales from cars, or 2000 bales from boats, with a wharf space ac 
commodating four ships at a time. Visiting hours are from 7 to 4. 

Built during the business peak of the World War, its capacity has never 
been taxed, owing mainly to changes in world agricultural and market 
conditions. But there is always plenty of activity. Tractors pulling 
trailers loaded with bales of cotton are constantly traveling about the 
warehouses and platforms. Workmen, both white and colored, shouting 
at one another, singing and laughing, move the heavy bales. Large ship 
ments of sisal are also handled at the Cotton Warehouses. 

168. The Lane Cotton Mills can be seen across the railroad yards, the 
buildings covering several city squares on Tchoupitoulas St. A modern 
pumping plant for handling oils in bulk from ship to railroad car is 
located on the upper end of the Cotton Warehouse riverside loading 
platform. Olive, palm, cocoanut, and linseed oils are among the items 
taken care of by this unit. 

169. The New Orleans Public Grain Elevators, situated at the foot of 
Bellecastle St., were completed in 1917 and are built on an unusual kind 
of foundation. In preparing the levee for the heavy structure the baffle 
type of construction was used. Three lines of piling, each some distance 
higher up the levee behind the other, were driven down and backed with 
a lining of concrete. Sand was filled in behind the concrete, providing a 
solid three-section foundation. 

These elevators have a storage capacity of 2,622,000 bushels and are 
constructed of fireproof concrete. All machinery is electrically operated 
by a special type of dust-proof, ball-bearing motor. Weighing-scales of 
latest design, a modern laboratory for testing the grain, and a sacking 
plant with a capacity of 7700 bushels per hour are among the additional 
equipment. The unloading capacity from cars is 200,000 bushels daily; 
from boats, 80,000 bushels daily. The wharf is 2090 feet long, with five 
berths for loading and unloading vessels. Visitors may obtain a general 
view of the working of the elevators between 7 and 4. 

170. The Public Coal and Bulk Commodity Handling Plant, situated at the 
foot of Nashville Ave., handles coal, coke, ore, and other bulk items. It 
has a storage capacity of 25,000 tons and an hourly loading rate, between 
vessels and freight cars, of 400 tons. The wharf can accommodate three 
vessels at one time. Loading and unloading is done by belt conveyors 
equipped with grab buckets; all machinery is electrically operated. 
Visiting hours are from 8 to 4. 

From this point it is necessary to proceed on foot, as there is no road 
way near the levee. The batture is very wide from Jefferson Ave. to 
Walnut St., and there is considerable space between the levee and the 
streets of the city. During low water the batture is covered with willows, 
and the young people of the neighborhood have swimming-places in their 
friendly shelter along the river s edge. 

2 7 8 

Sectional Descriptions and Tours 




Levees are something more than ridges of grass-covered land shoveled up in a 
haphazard manner along the river bank. The diagram shows the grades of their 
various slopes and where the dirt is obtained to build them. It is taken from the 
riverside after a strip of land, or berme, twenty feet wide is skipped over. The 
excavation of land for the levee forms the borrow pit which lies between the 
levee and the batture. When the river is low, the berme, the borrow pit, and the 
batture are high out of water. At high water all are submerged and only the 
levees hold back the flood from pouring onto the land. 

Houseboats and riverside shacks can be seen scattered here and there 
among the willows, but beyond Walnut St. they form an almost unbroken 
line as far as Protection Levee. 

171. Across the railroad tracks on the right, beginning at State Street, 
are the beautiful grounds and new buildings of the United States Marine 
Hospital (visiting hours 1-4 Tues., Thurs., Sun., and holidays), the dome 
of the central building rising high into the sky. Sailors of both the naval 
and mercantile services are cared for in this hospital, which is owned by 
the Federal Government and operated by the United States Public 
Health Service. The reservation occupies four square blocks, bounded 
by the levee, Henry Clay Ave., and State and Tchoupitoulas Sts. 

The first Marine Hospital was established in New Orleans in 1830. It 
was located on the west bank of the Mississippi and was not completed 
until after 1844. This hospital was used by the Confederates as a powder 
storehouse and was destroyed by an explosion in December, 1861. The 
second Marine Hospital was built after the Civil War, at Broad St. and 
Tulane Ave., where the new Criminal Court Buildings now stand. Re 
moval to the present site was made in the i88o s. The first recorded 
ownership of this land dates to 1770, when Jean Baptiste le Moyne, 
nephew of Governor Bienville, sold the plantation two leagues above 
New Orleans to Jean Lafitte and Francois Langlois. The property 
changed hands a number of times, and while under the ownership of 
fitienne de Bore produced cane from which he successfully refined sugar. 
At the time the land was purchased by the Government there were two 
buildings, used as residences by the plantation owner and caretaker, and 
eight small, pegged, log cabins that had been used as slave quarters. 
The small buildings were razed, and four frame structures were erected 

Water-Front Tour 279 

to form the hospital. The two remaining buildings were repaired, and 
are still used as quarters by the commanding and executive officers of 
the institution. In 1929 the four frame buildings were replaced with four 
teen modern brick structures, which serve as the present institution. 
The main building, of classic design with large columns, topped with an 
imposing dome, is five stories high, every room having an outer exposure. 
Grouped behind this structure, on spacious and well-landscaped grounds, 
are the smaller buildings which serve as quarters for attendants, laundry, 

An average of 430 patients are taken care of in the Marine Hospital, at 
tended by a staff of n medical and dental officers, 17 medical and dental 
internes, 55 nurses, and 7 laboratory technicians. Thirteen outside 
specialists in various fields of medicine and surgery are available for 

A large mahogany lumber plant occupies the space between the Marine 
Hospital and Audubon Park. A stock of cut lumber is piled out in the 
yards, and a great raft of mahogany logs may be seen anchored in the 
river along the batture. 

Audubon Park extends from Exposition Blvd. almost to Walnut St. 
(See Motor Tour 3.) This rear section, formerly neglected, has recently 
been landscaped with walks, driveways, and a lagoon. From the summit 
of the levee one can see the new zoo, the riding club buildings, and, in the 
distance, the large swimming pool. This part of the levee is a favorite 
camping spot for Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, the latter having a 
cabin within the precincts of the park. A reclamation of the batture for a 
park addition is in progress. A levee, constructed with the aid of W.P.A. 
labor, extends out to the river from the main levee in the form of a wide 
U. It is planned to fill the enclosed space level with the levee top, land 
scape it, and provide the city with a riverside park from which the river 
can be seen. As it is, the river is hidden by the levee from the view of 
persons at street level ; the same obstruction makes it possible to see only 
housetops from the river. 

172-173. After passing Walnut St. and the ferry, which was the main 
artery of automobile traffic crossing the river before the new bridge, 
plainly visible from the levee, was constructed, the plants of the North 
American Distillers, Inc., and the United States Industrial Alcohol Com 
pany can be seen on the right below the levee at the foot of Broadway. 
On the left, beyond the batture, a number of ships are tied up. The group 
includes ships belonging to several different steamship companies. Lack 
of business has put them out of commission, and as they are beyond the 
dock zone there is no charge for anchorage. Occasionally one is taken 
back into service; many of them may never be used again. Here also 
may be seen Negro batture dwellers, picturesque characters sunning and 
gossiping on the levee, seemingly without a care in the world. 

174. The Reservation of the United States Engineers, Second New Orleans 
District, is one of the beauty spots of the levee. Here are situated the 

280 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

equipment yards and shops, together with several office buildings and 
beautifully kept grounds, all built above flood level on the batture. 
The Government unit stationed here is in charge of dredging, revetment 
work, levee construction, etc., for the southern half of Louisiana and 
Mississippi, and along the Mississippi River from Warrenton, Miss., to 
the head of the passes. The buildings occupy a tract of land on the levee 
one hundred yards wide and about a mile in length. A ranking United 
States Army officer, usually a colonel, is in complete charge of the district 
office. The fleet, consisting of launches, dredge boats, cranes, steamboats, 
a tug, a floating asphalt plant, etc., is tied up at the foot of Burdette 
Street when not in use. 

175. Batture Dwellers, who build their houses of driftwood salvaged from 
the Mississippi, inhabit a ramshackle shanty town sometimes called 
Depression Colony, located between Carrollton Ave. and the protection 
levee at the Jefferson Parish line. It is composed of a wide variety of 
shacks, neat little cottages, and houseboats. The houses are built on 
stilts and are safe from all but the highest flood stages. During low 
water the batture is laid out in little gardens with chicken coops and pig 
pens. When the water rises, the livestock is taken up on the little galleries 
that run at least part way around each house and the occupants remain 
at home until Ole Man River becomes too dangerous. Driftwood in 
the river supplies ample fuel; the river, plenty of fish; and the near-by 
willows, material out of which wicker furniture can be made and sold 
from house to house in the city. There is no rent to pay, as the batture 
is part of the river and the property of the United States, and conse 
quently beyond the reach of local ownership or taxation. The varied 
occupations of the dwellers include fishing, wood-gathering, and auto 
mobile repair work; many work on Federal relief projects. Drinking water 
is procured from the neighborhood merchants. 

176. The Reserve Fleet of the United States Shipping Board s Merchant 
Fleet Corporation, consisting (Nov., 1937) of 46 ships, is to be found on 
the west bank of the river opposite Depression Colony. Most of these 
ships were built in 1919 and 1920 and are all steel cargo boats ranging in 
size from 7500 to 10,000 tons. A Fleet Manager, with 5 assistants and a 
crew of thirty-five laborers and 6 watchmen, is in charge. While the j 
boats are not kept painted, they are treated regularly with an oil preserva 
tive which prevents rust and decay. Most of these ships can be made 
ready for sea within a few weeks. 

177-178-179. At the Protection Levee, which runs from the river to Lake 
Pontchartrain, protecting the city from a possible break in the upper 
levee, one can see the Low-Water Intake Station of the Sewerage and 
Water Board. On the other side of the protection levee in Jefferson 
Parish the several Gambling Houses of Southport present a well-kept and 

Erosperous appearance. Although prohibited by law, these places will 
e found open or closed according to changes in local political conditions; 
usually they are open from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. 
1 80. Looming up against the sky, seeming all the higher because of the 

Water-Front Tour 281 

flatness of the surrounding country, the new Huey P. Long Bridge can 
be seen spanning the river at Nine-Mile Point. This is the only bridge 
spanning the Mississipppi below Vicksburg and is well worth crossing. 
A beautiful view of the city in the distance, as well as of the surrounding 
country, can be had from its summit. Bus connections may be made by 
walking in Oak St. four blocks to Leonidas St. 


The following street-cars roughly parallel the tour route: Desire car from 
Canal and Bourbon Sts. to Desire St.; St. Claude car from Canal and N. Ram 
part Sts. to the American Sugar Refinery. 

181. The second part of the river-front tour begins with the Bienmlle 
Street Wharf just below the viaduct leading to the Canal Street Ferry. 
Remodeled in 1931, it is used exclusively by the Morgan Line for both 
freight and passenger traffic and is always a busy place, as it is the 
connecting link between the eastern and western divisions of the Southern 
Pacific Railway System. Charles Morgan, for whom the line is named, 
was a prominent steamship and railroad promotor of the last century. 
Beginning his activities in the 1830*5, he organized, in 1877, the Morgan s 
Louisiana and Texas Railroad on the bankrupt remains of the old 
Opelousas Railroad. 

Before 1906, when the steel shed wharves began to replace the old open 
ones, this section of the levee was known as the sugar landing. The tall 
derelict of a building, without roof, floor, or window panes, just across 
the railroad tracks is all that remains of the first American Sugar Refining 
plant. The levee behind the wharf was covered with sugar sheds, and 
the neighborhood teemed with life. Here steamers may often be seen 
taking on passengers for a trip to New York, always a favorite sea 
voyage with Orleanians. Some of the old employees tell about the 
Louisiana, a former Morgan Line boat, which has lain since 1905 at 
the bottom of the river just beyond the wharf. On account of improper 
loading, the boat broke her moorings at the wharf and turned over in 
the river. No lives were lost. Attempts were made to raise the ship, 
the mast of which still protruded from the water, but after lifting her 
almost to the surface the hoisting apparatus broke, and the boat, sliding 
toward the deep channel, completely disappeared from view. The river 
bottom at this point recedes rapidly, attaining a depth of well over 100 
feet a short distance from shore. 

An interesting difference in the handling of freight is to be noted in 
connection with the Morgan Line steamers. Elsewhere along the docks 
one sees freight being handled by derricks which lower the hoisting ap 
paratus through hatches on the ship s deck, but the Morgan Line freight 
ers have no hatches on deck; everything is handled through cargo doors 
in the side of the hull. The floor of the Bienville St. Wharf is cut with 

282 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

slanting ramps leading to the water s edge so that freight can be handled 
in this manner. 

182. Jackson Square can be seen through the open doorways of the 
Toulouse Street Wharf. This is one of the few city squares in the United 
States where the architectural design is harmonious throughout. (See 
French Quarter Tour.) Here was the first ship landing and the front door 
of old New Orleans. All travelers coming to the city by river enjoyed 
this same view until it became obstructed by freight sheds and wharves. 
The sheds, which stood between the docks and the square, were razed 
recently, restoring the old view from the docks. 

183. The Dumaine Street Wharf in front of the French Market occupies 
the site of the old Picayune Tier of the last century, where all the luggers 
docked. It was one of the most interesting sights of the old town a 
gathering place for Greek, Italian, French, Negro, and Indian traders who 
brought their wares from the bayous and lakes of the lower Louisiana 
coast. While the huge square sails of their luggers flapped idly in the 
breeze these picturesque merchants would either be busily engaged in 
unloading and selling their oranges, oysters, fish, vegetables, etc., or 
cooking their meals over peculiar little charcoal stoves. 

184. The French Market is still there, but the foodstuffs arrive by truck 
now. Part of the old market buildings, destroyed in the storm of 1915, 
have been replaced, and the entire market has been remodeled by the 
W.P.A. (See French Quarter Tour.) 

185. The line of docks is again broken at the foot of Esplanade Ave. to 
provide landings for the Third District Ferry and the freight boats of the 
Southern Pacific Railroad Co. This was the first of the river railroad 
ferries and was established by Morgan about 1878. At first mules were 
used in place of locomotives to pull the cars on and off the ferry. Pas 
sengers crossed on the passenger ferry to Algiers, where the railroad train 
began its western journey. 

1 86. The square fronting the river between Elysian Fields and Marigny 
St., occupied for years by the old Claiborne Power House, was originally 
the site of the famous Marigny Mansion, which stood at that point for 
almost a century. From the pillared galleries the city could be seen on 
the right; across the river lay the King s Plantation afterwards 
Algiers; and far down on the right stretched the endless Marigny acres. 
Philip and Bernard de Marigny lived like kings, entertaining Louis 
Philippe, among other celebrities. Imitating his Yankee contemporaries, 
Bernard de Marigny converted his plantation into a city suburb. All of 
that part of the city from Elysian Fields Ave. to the Industrial Canal is 
built on his plantation. 

187. The large brick building at the foot of Esplanade Ave. is at present 
the Federal Jail, but from 1838 until about 1900 it was used as a mint. 
(See French Quarter Tour.) 

Several large buildings, of which the Alden Hosiery Mills and two in 
dustrial alcohol distilleries are the most important, stand out across the 
railroad tracks as one passes on through the wharves at this point. 

Water-Front Tour 283 

1 88. The Desire and Piety Street Wharves are used chiefly by the Standard 
Fruit and Steamship Company, and one may see large quantities of coffee 
and bananas unloaded two or three times a week. The Central American 
passenger boats of this line also land here. 

Cross railroad tracks and continue on Chartres Street, first street running 
parallel to the river. 

189. At 3933 Chartres St., corner of Bartholomew St., is an Old Cottage, 
supposed to have belonged to the Macarty family. An incongruous later 
addition to this plaster-covered brick structure is the colored glass 
lattice-work framing four pillars on the front of the house. 

190. The Olivier Plantation Home (formerly St. Mary s Orphan Asylum}, 
4111 Chartres St., once the palatial dwelling of David Olivier, was built 
about two hundred years ago. Its plantation life ended with the Civil 
War, at which time the occupant, Albert Piernas, was forced to sell. 
It was purchased by the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Cross to be 
used as a boys orphan asylum. 

The building, which is now occupied by an old lady and two children 
who migrated to the refuge from Pointe Coupee, is surrounded by new 
but deserted brick buildings, and can hardly be seen from the street. 
A wide gallery circles the house giving access to each room. The large 
rooms with old-fashioned fireplaces and very wide floor boards have 
beautiful fan-shaped transoms. On windows and doors can still be seen 
the motto, Silence is Golden, testifying to the sisters occupancy. The 
cisterns of the former plantation are interesting relics. 

191. The U.S. Army Supply Base, just off Poland St. behind the Poland 
St. Wharf, dominates the surrounding neighborhood. These three large 
concrete buildings were constructed in 1918-19 at a cost of $15,000,000, 
and were intended to serve as a warehouse for Army supplies. The ware 
houses, identical in design, are each 600 feet long, 140 feet wide, and six 
stories high, with a floor area of over 500,000 square feet and a combined 
storage space of thirty-six acres. The first three floors of each unit are 
connected by ramps with the Poland St. Wharf, which stands directly 
behind on the river-front. At present only Unit 3 is used by the Gov 
ernment, partly as a warehouse for army supplies and partly for the 
offices of the W.P.A. The remaining storage space of the three units is 
under lease by the Dock Board. Unit i is occupied by the binder twine 
mill and bag factory of the International Harvester Company, and 
Unit 2 has been subleased as a commodity warehouse for shipside storage. 
The International Trade Exposition, backed by New Orleans manufac 
turers, was housed in Unit 2 from 1925 to 1929. 

L. on Poland St. to St. Claude Ave.; R.from Poland St. on St. Claude Ave. 

192. From the St. Claude Ave. Bridge an excellent view of the Inner 
Harbor Navigation Canal may be had. The locks to the left of the bridge 
were completed in 1921, and the canal was finally opened for general use 
in 1923. It is 5 miles long, with an average depth of 30 feet, has n 
miles of frontage, and an average width of 300 feet. The great entrance 

284 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

locks are built of reinforced concrete, and are 640 feet long and 75 feet 
wide, with a water depth of 31.5 feet. The Dock Board has constructed 
a public concrete wharf at Galvez St., 2400 feet long and 265 feet wide, 
with a steel transit shed 2000 feet long and 200 feet wide. 
This inner harbor canal has fulfilled an ambitious scheme a waterway 
connection between the river and the lake advocated from the time 
Carondelet built his canal to Bayou St. John in the last decade of the 
1 8th century. The canal as originally planned was to have been much 
smaller, but it was wisely decided to make it large enough to meet all 
requirements. It was hoped that private interests would build factories 
and wharf facilities along its banks, but as this idea failed to take root, 
the Dock Board constructed the Galvez St. public wharf and released 
the canal frontage for public service in the same manner and under the 
same terms as the other parts of the harbor are used. Shippers com 
plained because of its distance from the heart of the city, but as soon as 
the freedom from traffic congestion which the location afforded was 
realized it gradually became one of the busiest sections of the port of 
New Orleans. 

R.from St. Claude Ave. on Reynes St. to the levee. 

193-194-195-196. The grounds and buildings of Holy Cross College, a 
boys preparatory school; Charbonnet Wharf, the last of the public docks; 
the low buildings of the New Orleans Compress Company, a cotton ware 
house behind the wharf; and the Todd Dry Dock Company are to be seen 
along the river in that order. 

197. Jackson Barracks, facing Delery St. and the river and extending to 
the St. Bernard Parish line, were constructed during the administration 
of Andrew Jackson to be used as a garrisoned military post for the defense 
of New Orleans and as a depot for interchanging troops garrisoning the 
river forts during the months when yellow fever was prevalent. The 
construction of the post was unique, since it was designed much in the 
manner of an Indian fort, with a high surrounding wall and four towers 
provided with rifle slots and embrasures for small cannon. Large cisterns 
at each building supplied ample drinking water. It is said that Jackson, 
remembering his unpleasant relations with the Creoles in 1814-15, ad 
vised the War Department to construct the barracks not only for the 
defense of New Orleans but as a self-sustaining fort capable of resisting 
an attack by the townspeople. 

Federal troops were quartered at the barracks until about 1920, at which 
time the place was abandoned by the War Department as a garrisoned 
post and leased to the State of Louisiana for the housing of National 
Guard units. Troops have embarked from the Barracks to participate 
in every major conflict engaged in by the United States. When Louisiana 
seceded in 1861 the post was taken over by the Confederate authorities 
but was later captured and garrisoned by Federal troops. Today Jackson 
Barracks maintains 14 units of National Guardsmen (about 700 men), 

Provides warehouses for Federal and State property, and houses about 
)rty families of Guardsmen. 

Water-Front Tour 285 

The reservation consists of approximately 84 acres, extending from the 
river to St. Claude Ave. Eighty buildings, ranging from large, brick 
structures with 18- and 22-inch walls a century old, to small, temporary, 
sheet-iron buildings, are capable of garrisoning about 1500 soldiers. 
Temporary barracks and canvas shelter could accommodate from 2000 
to 3000 additional troops. The buildings have been remodeled and 
cleaned up under a Works Progress Administration project at the present 
time (1937), and several new buildings constructed. 

198-199-200-201-202. Adjoining Jackson Barracks, just across the St. 
Bernard Parish line, is one of the old plantation buildings of Spanish 
times, originally the Home of the de Lesseps. Dr. L. A. Mereaux, sheriff of 
St. Bernard Parish, is the present owner and occupant. Several blocks 
more bring one to the Stock Yards and Abattoir. On Friscoville Ave. 
stands the former Jai Alai Building, painted in dabs of color and now 
used as a gambling house. The large assembly plant of the Ford Motor 
Company follows, and adjoining it is the immense refinery building of the 
American Sugar Refining Company with wharves and conveyors along the 
levee and over the road. Visitors are admitted to the plant at 10 A.M. 
daily, except on Saturdays and Sundays; there is no charge for admission. 

203. Just beyond the refinery buildings another fine old plantation home 
is to be seen with its pillared galleries and fine old oak trees. Known as 
Three Oaks Plantation and the former home of the Cenas family, it is now 
the property of the American Sugar Refining Company. During the 
bombardment of the Chalmette Batteries in April, 1862, by Admiral 
Farragut and his fleet the right end column was demolished and has since 
been replaced. Similar plantation homes, within spacious grounds, lined 
both sides of the river below New Orleans in ante-bellum days. 

204. About a quarter of a mile farther on one comes to the Chalmette Slip, 
the property of the Southern Railway Co. Started about 1907 but not 
completed until 1915, it is the only slip of its kind on the Mississippi. 
With a length of 1800 feet, a width of 300 feet, and a depth of 30 feet, the 
slip has two concrete docks, one on each side. Dock i is a single-story 
structure 1300 feet long and 120 feet wide, with a floor area of 156,000 
square feet. Dock 2 is two stories in height, 1780 feet long, and 130 feet 
wide, with a floor area of 418,000 square feet. Six vessels can be accom 
modated at one time. A specially constructed double-unit conveyor, 
electrically driven, is used for unloading copra from shiphold to freight 
car. The Macarty home, used by Jackson as his headquarters during the 
Battle of New Orleans, was razed in the construction of the slip. 

205-206. Below the slip, Chalmette Monument and the National Cemetery 
occupy the old battlefield where Jackson and his gallant crew repulsed 
the British invasion of 1814-15, and where feeble batteries attempted to 
stop Farragut in 1862. (See St. Bernard-Plaquemines Tour.) 

Return to A merican Sugar Refinery to obtain street-car. 

r r r ,- r 

TJ 1 

DOJ N^M^VjaiiJaSfeaEP^ 

i ii n "(=- 


The following street-car and bus services roughly parallel the tour route: 
West End car from any place on Canal St.; transfer to Robert E. Lee bus 
(for Spanish Fort and Lake-Front) at West End; transfer to Gentilly-Broad bus 
(for Gentilly section of tour) at Canal and Broad Sts. 

CANAL STREET, one of the widest streets in the United States and 
reputed to be one of the best lighted streets in the world, is the center 
from which all activities in New Orleans radiate and the goal to which 
all return. All street-cars, except the Napoleon Ave., and many bus 
lines begin and end here, and when a New Orleanian goes to town, be 
it for business or pleasure, he goes to Canal St. All side streets are num 
bered uptown and downtown (north and south) from Canal St. beginning 
with 100; and most of the streets between the river and Rampart change 
their names in crossing. Traffic at peak hours overflows both roadway 
and sidewalk, and on occasions like Mardi Gras and New Year s Eve 
the street becomes a seething mass of pleasure-bent humanity. 

A breadth of 171 feet is distributed between two spacious roadways, 
wide sidewalks, and a wider neutral ground; both the sidewalks (called 
banquettes in New Orleans) and the neutral ground are paved in modern 
istic style with red and white terrazzo marble, reflecting the brilliant 
sunlight by day and the flood of electric lights by night. Lamp posts 
are ornamented with plaques illustrative of the French, Spanish, Con 
federate, and American dominations. Beyond Claiborne Ave. the street 
is residential and the neutral ground becomes a beautiful green lawn 
planted with clumps of palms at regular intervals. Canal Street extends 
in an unbroken line from the river to the cemeteries, a distance of 3^ 

Originally, a ditch or shallow canal, from which the street takes its name, 
ran here along the ramparts of the Vieux Carre. When the canal was 
filled up the place became the town commons, dividing the old city on 
the right or downtown side from the newer uptown section. At first, 
wash hung flying in the wind, and peddlers did business in the weed- 
grown center. Soon carriages were rattling over cobblestones before 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 287 

galleried residences. Then business broke in and took possession. Today, 
although the chief retail stores of the city line its sides, few of the buildings 
along Canal Street are new and many of them, their facades remodeled, 
go back to ante-bellum days. 

The tendency of certain business activities to concentrate in one section 
of the city, although not quite so pronounced as it once was, is to be 
noted in the side streets in the vicinity of Canal. Most of the fur dealers 
are still to be found along North Peters and Decatur Sts. Royal St. has 
become one of antique shops which, resembling the bazaars of the 
Orient, line the street on both sides for blocks and pour out their strange 
and beautiful wares on the sidewalk. Coffee roasters and packers are 
to be found, for the most part, along Magazine and Tchoupitoulas 
Streets from Canal to Howard Ave. Farther uptown, Poydras St. 
from Camp to the river is the wholesale fruit, produce, and poultry 
center, while the principal meat packers are found near Magazine and 
Julia Sts. The section between Camp St. and the river, and Canal St. 
and Jackson Ave., contains most of the wholesale jobbing houses and 
many of the manufacturing plants. Carondelet St. has always been the 
street of the cotton brokers and bankers. 

1. The Canal Street Ferry, crossing between New Orleans and Algiers, 
is an excellent place from which to view the city, especially at night. 

2. Eads Plaza, at the foot of Canal St., named in honor of James Bu 
chanan Eads, who planned and constructed the jetties at the mouth of the 
river below New Orleans, affords an excellent view of both Canal Street 
and the Mississippi. Interesting foot and motor tours may be taken along 
the river-front from Eads Plaza (see River-Front Tour}. 

3. The Louisville and Nashville Terminal stands to the right beyond the 
viaduct by which traffic reaches the ferry. 

4. Liberty Monument, Canal St. near N. Front St., is a simple granite 
shaft standing in the center of the neutral ground and commemorating 
the declaration that the citizens of right ought to be and meant to be 
free of the obnoxious carpetbag rule. It was here, on September 14, 
1874, that shots were fired by citizens of the city, challenging further 
invasion of their right to rule themselves. Seventeen years later the 
cornerstone of a monument to commemorate the event was laid, and a 
few months later the monument, designed by Charles R. Orleans, was 
erected. The granite shaft is thirty-five feet in height and cost a total of 
$8000. Each year, on September 14, a large crowd gathers about the 
monument for ceremonies. 

5. The Custom House, 423 Canal St., is especially interesting for its 
Marble Hall. (See French Quarter Tour.) 

6. The Boston Club, 824 Canal St., reputedly the second oldest club in 
the United States, was founded in 1841 by a group of mercantile and 
professional men for the purpose of enjoying more privacy in playing 
Boston, a card game much in favor at that time. The members first 
met on Royal St. ; the present location, a handsome structure erected as 

288 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

a home before the Civil War by a Dr. W. N. Mercer, has been occupied 
since 1887. 

Membership is limited to 400. Non-resident members are admitted, 
and temporary memberships are extended to Army and Navy officers, 
the clergy, and members of the diplomatic service. Out-of-town visitors 
invited by club members are extended the courtesies of the club. 

The club s facilities include reading-rooms, a dining-room, and many 
other modern accommodations. An excellent French cuisine is served 
table d hote or a la carte from a large, well-equipped kitchen. Old Negro 
servants, in the employ of the club for many years, administer to the 
needs of the members. Dominoes and bridge are the games in vogue, 
Boston having become merely a tradition. 

Women are entertained at a dance on New Year s Eve. On Mardi Gras 
day the club is host to the Queen of Carnival. It is here, while the socially 
elite view the scene from a balcony constructed across the facade of the 
club, that Rex toasts his queen with a goblet of champagne. A buffet 
supper is usually served after the evening parade of Comus. Election of 
officers is held annually on the first Saturday in December, an occasion 
for a lavish dinner and celebration. 

Cross Canal St. neutral ground at Dauphine St.; return to Baronne St.; 
R. from Canal St. on Baronne St. 

7. The Immaculate Conception (Jesuit} Church, 132 Baronne St., opened 
in 1857, is said to be the first in the world officially dedicated to the Im 
maculate Conception. Through purchases extending over a period of 
forty years and concluded in 1875, the Catholic Society for the Diffusion 
of Religious and Literary Education acquired land for the erection of a 
church and college proposed by the Jesuit Father Jean Baptiste Maison- 
nabe. When Father Maisonnabe died of yellow fever in 1848, Father 
Cambiaso, who became head of the New Orleans mission, purchased 
additional ground, enlarged the college, and drew plans for a new church. 
The original three-story church, which, despite its strong, compact 
foundations, had begun to sink into the soft alluvial underlying soil, was 
rebuilt in 1927-28. Intensive reconstruction followed as closely as pos 
sible the plan of the original structure. 

The new building is entirely fireproof. It is built on piling with rein 
forced concrete floor and roof slabs. The exterior, carrying out the 
Hispano-Moresque theme, is of tapestry brick with limestone and terra 
cotta trim; the base is of granite. During the process of restoration, each 
tower of the Baronne St. facade was heightened and crowned with 
domes. The former front portico was eliminated and the structure built 
out to the street line in order to increase seating capacity. During re 
novation the strong Hispano-Moresque motif of the interior was pre 
served. The interlacing cast-iron arches of the triforium, the cast-iron 
columns and semi-columns of the nave and aisles, the cast-iron pews, 
the three altars and the communion rail, and all of the stained glass 
were retained. The entire first floor, with the exception of the sacristy 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 289 

and the space occupied by the pews, is of white and green marble. The 
stations of the cross are of stained glass, painted like glowing medallions 
in the side naves above large windows that portray, in vivid coloring, 
incidents in the lives of the saints of the Society of Jesus. These stations, 
genuine works of art, were prepared and painted under the direction of 
two French Jesuits, the Rev. Arthur Martin and the Rev. Charles Cahier. 

Another artistic triumph is the great gilt bronze altar flashing back in 
dazzling splendor all the light thrown upon it. Its Moorish domes and 
miter-shaped arches harmonize architecturally. This altar, designed in 
New Orleans by Mr. James Freret, was made in Lyons, France. Dis 
played at the Paris Exposition of 1867-68, where it won first prize, the 
altar reached the city in November, 1873. 

Above the high altar, in a niche ablaze with golden stars and snowy lilies, 
stands a statue of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, carved of 
stainless marble by Denis Foyatier, French sculptor. Designed originally 
for the private chapel of Queen Marie Amelie, wife of Louis Philippe, 
this statue was, upon the re-establishment of the French Republic, shipped 
to New York and sold. 

The shrine, a gift of Mrs. James Denis Denegre, reproduces that of Our 
Blessed Lady in the church of the Jesuit Fathers at Pau, France. Three 
great silver candlesticks, the rare handiwork of old-time silversmiths, 
are decorated in motifs of live-oak branches, squirrels, and acorns. They 
were confiscated by Federal officers during the Civil War, but were later 
restored by order of General Benjamin Butler. 

At the main entrance is a striking bronze figure of St. Peter seated on a 
marble throne. It is assigned to the sixteenth century and is a copy of a 
statue standing beneath the mighty dome of St. Peter s Cathedral in Rome. 

L. from Baronne St. on Cramer St. 

8. The Hibernia Tower, Hibernia Bank Building, 812 Gravier St. (open 
weekdays 9.30-4.30; Sat. 9-4; admission 25^), the highest point in 
New Orleans, is twenty-three stories high, and is the only observation 
tower in the city. The lantern in the top of the tower is 355 feet above 
the street and can be seen at night for several miles. A walkway circles 
the bottom of the tower, and the directions north, south, east, and west 
are indicated so that one may know his exact position. Favrot and Livau- 
dais were the architects. 

Looking north from the tower on a clear day one can see the buildings 
of the Shushan Airport on Lake Pontchartrain 10 miles away. Looking 
toward the west along the New Basin Canal can be seen patches of the 
Illinois Central Railroad, the Jahncke drydocks, and a number of schoon 
ers lying in wait for freight. Still further in the distance is the Huey P. 
Long Railroad and Vehicular Bridge. Looking south from the tower one 
gets an excellent view of the largest crescent of the river, beginning 
near Governor Nicholls St., widening at Canal St., and swinging out to 
curve back in near the water purification plant on Jefferson Highway 
above Carrollton Ave. On the eastern side of the tower one looks directly 

290 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

down into the business section of New Orleans. From here there is an 
excellent view of the downtown docks, huge freighters coming and going, 
and the Canal St. ferries plying back and forth between New Orleans 
and Algiers just across the river. 

The Pickwick Club, one of the older and more exclusive clubs of the city, 
has its quarters in the Hibernia Building. The club was founded in 1857 
by a group of prominent young men from the Garden District of New 
Orleans. It was this group which planned one of the first of the Carnival 
organizations, the Mystic Krewe of Comus, and shortly after started 
the Pickwick Club, named for Dickens famous character. For some 
time the two organizations were identical, but in 1884 it was decided 
that each should become an independent club. In 1899 the Pickwick 
Club commissioned Stanford White, the noted New York architect, to 
design the handsome edifice at 1028 Canal St., which the club occupied 
until 1934, when the present quarters were obtained. 
The quarters are spacious and well arranged, and include card rooms, 
reading-rooms, a library, and a large dining-room, all of which are de 
corated with paintings and statues. The carved figure of Mr. Pickwick 
in black frock coat, gaiters, red vest and breeches stands as a silent 
host to those who enter the Pickwick Club. 

Membership in the Pickwick Club is limited to 150. There are junior 
memberships for men between the ages of 21 and 25. Non-resident 
members are admitted, and there are special memberships for commis 
sioned officers of the Army and Navy, the clergy, and members of the 
diplomatic corps. 

Each Thursday evening the members enjoy their regular club dinner. 
During the carnival and football seasons women guests are frequently 
entertained. No resident non-members are admitted, but visitors to 
New Orleans may be given guest cards by members. 

9. The New Orleans Cotton Exchange, Cotton Exchange Building, 801 
Gravier St., founded in 1871 as successor to the Merchants Exchange, is 
said to be the second largest cotton exchange in the United States today. 
The chief purpose of the organization is to promote and regulate the 
buying and selling of cotton and to furnish information relative to this 
commodity. The exchange handles every variety of cotton from every 
section of the country. The present membership (1937) is approximately 
400. The Board of Directors meets on the first Wednesday of each 
month, and election of officers is held annually. Membership fees are 
fixed each year by the board. 

L. from Gravier St. on Carondelet St.; L. from Carondelet St. on Canal St. 

10. From the Southern Railway Terminal at Canal and N. Saratoga Sts. 
a small, well-planted parkway may be seen to the right at Elk Place. 
The large building facing the parkway on the lake side was formerly the 
Elks Home. 

n. The John T. Gibbons House, 2006 Canal St., lake corner S. Prieur 
and Canal Sts., was the headquarters of Cardinal Gibbons, brother of 
the former occupant, on his yearly visits to New Orleans. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 291 

12. The former Straight University, between S. Tonti and S. Rocheblave 
Sts., now houses a Negro school and the Negro Y.W.C.A. Straight 
University, established in 1869 by the northern Congregational Church 
for the education of Negroes, was first located at Esplanade and Bourbon. 
The present buildings were erected in 1877 after a fire had destroyed the 
original school. Straight University has become part of Dillard Univer 
sity, which had its first formal session in 1935. 

13. Bolivar Place, downtown side of Canal St. at Broad St., a memorial 
square, contains a granite block marked with a bronze plaque and dedi 
cated by the city in 1930 to Simon Bolivar, the great South American 
warrior and statesman. The dedicatory exercises took place on Decem 
ber 17, the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Bolivar. Mayor 
Walmsley presented the memorial for the city, and it was accepted by 
Diego Matute Ruiz, consul general of Venezuela, the first country liber 
ated by Bolivar. The plaque bears the following inscription: Bolivar 
Place, Dedicated by the City of New Orleans to Simon Bolivar, 1783- 
1830, the liberator of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, 
and Panama. 

14. Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, uptown lake corner of S. Lopez and 
Canal Sts., is built of pressed brick with stone trimming in the Roman 
esque style; Gothic features the pointed arch of the main entrance and 
the pointed gable of the roof have been incorporated in the design. 
A tall, square campanile, one of the few to be seen in the city, rises from 
the right-hand side of the building. In the interior attention is centered 
on the high altar of varicolored marble, elaborately carved and inlaid 
with rich mosaic work. The two side altars harmonize in design and 
composition with the main altar, and the stations of the Cross are mosaics, 
with colored figures set against a gold background. 

15. Dreux Monument, downtown side of Canal St. at Jefferson Davis 
Pkwy., honors Charles Didier Dreux, the first officer from New Orleans 
to volunteer his services in the Civil War. Colonel Dreux, who had or 
ganized the Orleans Cadets at the beginning of the war, was also the 
first Confederate officer from Louisiana to lose his life in the conflict. 
The bust, slightly more than life-size, rests on a six-foot pedestal, both 
being composed of Stone Mountain granite. It was designed by Victor 
Holm and greeted in 1922. 

16. Jefferson Davis Monument, facing Dreux Monument, stands in the 
midst of a well-kept parkway, surrounded by palms and cactus. The 
champion of States rights and the President of the Confederate States 
is represented in the attitude of addressing his people in behalf of the 
beliefs he cherished. 

Davis was a citizen of Mississippi and a frequent visitor to New Orleans, 
where he had scores of close friends. In 1889 he died at the home of 
Charles E. Fenner, 1134 First St. (See Motor Tour 4.) 

For some time his body lay in state in the City Hall, and for two years 
afterwards it reposed in the mausoleum of the Army of Northern Vir- 

292 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

ginia, at Metairie Cemetery. In 1898 the Jefferson Davis Monumental 
Association was organized, and after a period of thirteen years, $35,000 
was raised and Edward Valentine was employed to design the statue. 
On February 22, 1911, the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of 
Davis as President of the Confederacy, the statue was unveiled with an 
impressive ceremony. 

The statue rests on a pedestal of South Carolina granite. The front side 
is ornamented with the seal of the Confederacy, surrounded by a laurel 
wreath in bronze. At the upper end of the dado is a row of thirteen stars, 
and on the back of the pedestal is engraved: His name is enshrined in 
the hearts of the people for whom he suffered, and his deeds are forever 
wedded to immortality. The monument is 25 feet in height. 

17-18-19. Cypress Grove, Greenwood, and Metairie Cemeteries are at the 
intersection of Canal St., City Park Ave., and Pontchartrain Blvd. 
(See Cemeteries.) 

R. from Canal St. on City Park Ave.; L. from City Park Ave. on Canal 

20. Wedell (James) Monument, Canal Blvd., at intersection of City 
Park Ave., is a memorial to Jimmy Wedell, popular young aviator of 
New Orleans, who lost his life in 1934 while engaged in routine instruc 
tion work at the Wedell- Williams Airport near Patterson, Louisiana. At 
the time of his death Wedell held the world speed record for land planes, 
and was making plans to compete in the London- to-Melbourne race 
which was to take place shortly. On the pedestal is an eagle with wings 
spread for flight, and at the base of the monument is the single word 

Cross neutral ground at Rosedale and return R. from Canal Blvd., on City 
Park Ave.; cross New Orleans Navigation Canal; L. from City Park Ave. 
on Pontchartrain Blvd. 

21. The New Orleans Country Club, 6440 Pontchartrain Blvd., has golf, 
tennis, and swimming facilities restricted to members and their guests. 
(See Recreational Facilities.) 

Return and continue on Pontchartrain Blvd. 

22. The Lakewood Country Club, Pontchartrain Blvd. beyond Metairie 
Cemetery, formerly known as the West End Country Club, has golf and 
tennis facilities restricted to members and their guests. The membership 
is largely Jewish. (See Recreational Facilities.) 

Lake Pontchartrain Shore, one of the most popular spots in New Orleans 
for summer amusements, offers a variety of sports, such as swimming, 
boating, and fishing. Along the shore are found the settlements of West 
End and Milneburg, an amusement park and bathing beach, a State- 
owned airport accommodating both airplanes and seaplanes, and a num 
ber of lighthouses maintained by the United States Government. A few 
miles from West End are the ruins of Spanish Fort, erected by the 
Spaniards during their domination of Louisiana. A stepped concrete 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 293 

sea wall extends eastward from West End for about six miles; the steps 
lead directly into the water, which is usually quite shallow near the wall. 

Besides the Rigolets, which is an outlet from Lake Pontchartrain into 
Lakes St. Catherine and Borgne, and Chef Menteur Pass, which connects 
Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne, there are several canals intersecting 
the shore. The Inner-Harbor Navigation Canal, connecting the lake 
with the Mississippi River and popularly known as the Industrial Canal, 
and the New Orleans Navigation Canal are navigable waterways. Bayou 
St. John (see Tour 2) and two emergency drainage canals running along 
Orleans and London Aves. also extend to Lake Pontchartrain. 

23. West End, Pontchartrain Blvd. at Lake Pontchartrain, is a small 
suburban area in the extreme northwest corner of New Orleans at the 
western border of Orleans Parish. The chief attractions are West End 
Park, Bucktown, and the Southern Yacht Club. Several night clubs 
are also located here. 

Formerly a favorite spot for outings, when gay young blades used the 
Shell Road (now Pontchartrain Boulevard) as a speedway to test the 
mettle of their horses, West End is still a charming place for picnics. 
The park, which is protected from the lake by a concrete sea wall, has 
an abundance of shade trees, and a large number of refreshment stands 
where crabs and shrimps are served in season. A special attraction of the 
park is the large fountain in operation during the summer months. Here 
people sit for hours on warm nights watching the play of the waters in 
various colors, each spray an individual representation. One of the love 
liest of these is known as the Prairie Fire, a fountain of water illuminated 
by gold, red, yellow, and blue lights. 

Just across the bridge in the western section of West End, in the Free 
State of Jefferson, is a small settlement known as Bucktown. At one 
time a wide-open spot, it is today a comparatively quiet place. A few 
of the raised camps extending out into the water, similar to the ones that 
once lined the entire lakefront, are still to be seen. 

The home of the Southern Yacht Club is located in West End, its two- 
story frame structure extending over the lake from the left bank of the 
New Basin Canal. The building houses an office, clubrooms, dormitories, 
and a cafe. The facilities of the club are restricted to members and guests 
of members. Numerous boats and racing sloops are kept in the yacht 
pen. An annual spring regatta is held in April, and in the early fall the 
club acts as host to the Gulf Yacht Association, which comprises yacht 
clubs along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. 
On Saturdays and Sundays races may be watched from the sea wall. 

Return to Lake Ave. Bridge; cross New Orleans Navigation Canal; L. on 
Lakeshore Drive. 

24. New Canal (Pontchartrain) Lighthouse, opposite the Southern Yacht 
Club Pier, was built in 1890 on the site of a former station constructed 
in 1838. Mrs. Fannie Norvell, retired in 1932, was the last but one woman 
lighthouse-keeper serving in the United States. 

294 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

Lake Shore Park, a five-and-one-half-mile parkway extending from West 
End to Shushan Airport, is being developed by the W.P.A. Picnic 
grounds, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, refreshment stands, and park 
ing space are to be constructed within an area extending back 300 to 500 
feet from the sea wall. The land now forming the park was created by 
an extension of the shoreline 3500 feet into the lake, where a concrete 
sea wall was constructed and the enclosed area filled in with sand pumped 
from the lake, thus transforming mosquito-breeding swamps into a valu 
able highland, which serves also as a dike protecting the city from back 
waters of the lake. Along the sea wall, from West End to the Industrial 
Canal, the people of New Orleans swim throughout the summer months. 

25. Pontchartrain Beach (no adm. charge; suits rented at a nominal charge], 
near the mouth of Bayou St. John, is a popular amusement resort. The 
sandy beach extends for several hundred feet along the shore. A small 
park, with bathhouses, numerous concessions, refreshment stands, lunch 
rooms, and mechanical rides such as the roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and 
whip, adjoins the board walk. A wooden pier extends out over the lake 
from the concrete sea wall along the lake-front. A powerful amplifying 
system broadcasts music from the bandstand. Throughout the season, 
which usually lasts from May until September, the management also 
offers free vaudeville acts. 

26. Spanish Fort, .3 m. right from Pontchartrain Beach along Bayou St. 
John, was the first fortification erected in the immediate vicinity of New 
Orleans. Dating back to the early i8th century, it was at first nothing 
more than a redoubt called Fort St. John. During the Spanish regime 
the fort was enlarged and rebuilt of brick and popularly known thereafter 
as Spanish Fort. The fort was garrisoned during the invasion of the 
British in 1814-15. As a fortification it lost its importance after the con 
struction of Forts Pike and Macomb and fell into its present state of dilap 
idation. The building of the railroad to Milneburg made that place the 
entrance for passengers from the lake routes, and Spanish Fort became 
a resort. A large hotel was built and famous visitors, among whom were 
the Duke of Saxe- Weimar, William Makepeace Thackeray, General 
Grant, and Oscar Wilde, were entertained there. A casino and various 
amusement concessions, including a theater, were added about ipoo, 
and several seasons of opera were given. Fire and changing conditions 
have brought about the complete disappearance of all these buildings. 
Today nothing is left but the foundations of the old fort and the unknown 
grave within its iron railing under the oak. 

Several legends have been woven into the history of the fort. The un 
marked grave is said to contain the remains of a Captain Pablo, a Spanish 
officer, who was slain by Wah-he-wawa, an Indian chief, at a near-by 
trysting place of the officer and the chief s daughter, Owaissee. The four 
large trees to the west of the ruins are supposed to mark the graves of 
four Spanish officers. Another legend has it that Princess Charlotte 
of Brunswick and her lover, the Chevalier d Aubant, used to while away 
many happy hours under two live oak trees near the fort. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 295 

Grace King gives the following account in Old Families of New Orleans: 

Other settlers besides those of flesh and blood have given their name to 
the pleasant country-side of the Bayou St. Jean. Gayarre relates a romance, 
which the historians make a place for in their narratives, and which is 
still repeated by all guides. It deals with Charlotte, the beautiful daughter 
of the Duke of Brunswick, a paragon of virtue, beauty and talent, who 
was married to Alexis, the son of Peter the Great, after she had given her 
heart to the Chevalier d Aubant, an officer of her father s household. On 
the day of her marriage he received a passport and permission to leave 
the country. 

To continue, in Gayarre s words: 

Whither he went no one knew, but in 1718 he arrived in Louisiana with the 
grade of Captain in the colonial troops. Shortly after this, he was stationed 
at New Orleans, where, beyond what was necessary in the discharge of his 
duties, he shunned the contact of his brother officers and lived in the utmost 

On the banks of the Bayou St. Jean, on the land known in our day as the 
Allard plantation, there was a small village of friendly Indians. With the 
consent of the Indians, d Aubant formed there a rural retreat where he spent 
most of the time he could spare from his military avocations. Plain and rude 
was the soldier s dwelling, but it contained, as ornament, a full length and 
admirable portrait of a female, surpassingly beautiful, in the contemplation 
of which d Aubant would frequently remain absorbed as in a trance. Near 
the figure represented stood a table on which lay a crown, resting, not on a 
cushion as usual, but on a heart which it crushed with its weight, and at which 
the lady gazed with intense melancholy. This painting attracted, of course, 
a good deal of observation, but no one dared to allude to it. By intuition, 
every one felt that it was sacred ground, on which enquiry ought not to tread. 

Where was all the while the Princess Charlotte, the gilded victim of Imperial 
misery? One day, entering his wife s apartments, her husband requested her 
to receive a female scullion of her kitchen on whom he had bestowed his affec 
tions. She refused; he, heated by the fumes of his deep potations, worked 
himself into a paroxysm of frantic rage, and with wild gestures and terrific 
shrieks of a maniac, rushed upon her, and with repeated blows, laid her pros 
trate on the floor, senseless and cold in apparent death. 

The Princess recovered from her swoon, and found herself alone with her friend 
and bosom companion, the Countess of Koeningsmark. Long did they dis 
course together in subdued tones. That night the Countess of Koeningsmark 
entered secretly the Princess room, and there was re-enacted that scene 
where Friar Lawrence counsels Juliet to feign death. The imperial funeral 
took place according to the plan which had been laid; the whole of Europe 
was deceived. 

With the two hundred emigrants who had arrived in March, 1721, there had 
come a woman who, by her beauty and by that nameless thing which marks 
a superior being or extraordinary destinies had, on her arrival at New Orleans, 
attracted public attention. She immediately enquired for the Chevalier 
d Aubant, to whom she pretended to be recommended. She was informed that 
he was at his retreat on the Bayou St. Jean, and that he would be sent for. 
But she eagerly opposed it, v and begged that a guide should conduct her to 
d Aubant s rural dwelling. 

It was a vernal evening, and the last rays of the sun were lingering in the 
West. Seated in front of the portrait, which we know, d Aubant, with his eyes 
rooted to the ground, seemed to be plunged in deep re very. Suddenly he looked 
up the dead was alive again, and confronting him with eyes so sweet and 

296 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

sad, with eyes so moist with rapturous tears, and with such an expression of 
concentrated love as can only be borrowed from the abode of bliss above! 
What pen could do justice to the scene? Suffice it to say that on the next 
day the Chevalier d Aubant was married to the mysterious stranger, who 
gave no other name to the enquiring priest than that of Charlotte. In com 
memoration of this event, they planted two oaks which, looking like twins 
and interlocking their leafy arms, are to this day to be seen standing side by 
side, on the bank of the St. Jean, and bathing their feet in the stream, a little 
to the right of the bridge in front of the Allard plantation. 

Certain it is, that although d Aubant and his wife kept their own secret, and 
lived in almost monastic retirement, rumors about their wonderful history 
were so rife in the colony, and the attention of which they became the objects 
subjected them to so much uneasiness, that d Aubant contrived to leave the 
country soon after, and went to Paris, where his wife, having met the Marshal 
of Saxe in the garden of the Tuileries, and being recognized by him, escaped 
detection with the greatest difficulty. D Aubant departed for the Island of 
Bourbon, where he resided for a considerable time. In 1754, on his death, his 
widow returned to Paris with a daughter, the only offspring of her union with 
d Aubant, and in 1781 she died in a state bordering on destitution. 

The painstaking, conscientious historian, Hanno Deiler, after quoting 
Gayarre s account, ends by saying of it: It is a pity to destroy such a 
pretty legend. Nevertheless he does so pitilessly. His cold-blooded 
investigations prove beyond a doubt that no such name as d Aubant is 
to be met with in colonial documents. The marriage records of the St. 
Louis Cathedral between 1720-1730 register no such marriage. 

The legend, therefore, says Deiler, may be pronounced a myth, although 
Allard s plantation is still pointed out as the dwelling-place of the lovers, 
and the two leaf-locked trees by the bridge still bear witness to their 

Picket, in his History of Alabama, claims the couple as residents of Mobile. 
Tschokke, the German novelist, places them on the Red River. But no 
fact in her history is so firmly believed by the romantic people of New 
Orleans as this lovers tale, and their dwelling-place has been assigned to ! 
various other localities favorable to the seclusion of true love. 

Return and continue on Lakeshore Drive. 

27. Milneburg, sometimes referred to as Old Lake* to distinguish it 
from newer settlements, was the first summer resort to be established 
on the lake-front. The old town, founded by Alexander Milne, New 
Orleans philanthropist, lies about a half mile inland from the lighthouse, 
which now stands high and dry on land where the lake has been filled in. 
A thriving lake port in the early igth century, it was the terminus of the 
Pontchartrain Railroad, the first railroad (1831) west of the Alleghenies. 

Milneburg was the birthplace of Adah Isaacs Menken, actress and ad 
venturess, who became the toast of Europe. She achieved fame as the 
first woman to play Mazeppa, and the first Mazeppa to ride a horse in 
the scene in which a dummy had been strapped to a horse. 

Thackeray immortalized the bouillabaisse he ate here in a ballad of that 

28. The Industrial Canal, completed in 1923, connects Lake Pontchar 
train with the Mississippi. The section of the sea wall in this vicinity is 
reserved for Negroes. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 297 

29. Shushan Airport, Lakeshore Drive and Downman Road, is modern 
in design and artistically notable. Designed by Weiss, Dreyfous, and 
Seiferth and built on filled-in land, it was completed in the summer of 
1935 at an approximate cost of $3,000,000. The two large hangars, which 
flank the Administration Building, possess ultra-modern equipment and 
provide space for offices and instruction rooms. The luxurious main 
building contains rooms with private baths for airline passengers, in ad 
dition to a commodious pilots suite. There are also a restaurant, radio 
room, post office, telegraph office, and information desk. On the mez 
zanine floor eight murals depicting early New Orleans history, including 
its founding by Bienville, which critics rate with the best of decorative 
murals to be found in the South, were executed by Xavier Gonzalez, a 
New Orleans artist and an instructor at the Newcomb Art School. Branch 
offices of various Federal agencies Customs, Commerce, Immigration, 
and Weather Bureau are located in this building. Octagonal in shape 
and rising to a height of 60 feet, the control tower surmounts the Admin 
istration Building and commands an unobstructed view of the lakefront 
and the city in the distance. A platform having a ramp which projects 
out into the water at the southeast corner of the landing field serves as 
a seaplane base. Shushan Airport is used by United States Army and 
Navy planes, and by both private and commerical aircraft. 

S. from Lakeshore Drive on Downman Rd.; R. from Downman Rd. on 
Gentilly Rd. 

30. Gentilly Terrace Nursery, 4300 Mandeville St. (open daily; free guide 
service), has about 500 registered varieties of orchids under cultiva 

31. New Orleans Parking Commission Nursery, 2829 Gentilly Rd., is a 
5o-acre tract devoted to the raising of trees, shrubbery, and flowers for 
city beautification. The azalea trail in the nursery is particularly beauti 

32. St. John Berchman s Asylum, 2709 Gentilly Rd., with a capacity 
for 70 inmates, is an orphanage for Negro boys from infancy to the age 
of 12 years. It is maintained by the Community Chest and supervised 
by the Associated Catholic Charities Social Agency. 

33. Dillard University, 2300 Gentilly Rd., which formally opened its new 
campus buildings in 1935, is a co-operative enterprise. The American 
Missionary Association, the Board of Education of the Methodist Epis 
copal Church, the General Education Board, the Julius Rosenwald Fund, 
and the citizens of New Orleans have all participated in its development. 
The new university occupies a 7o-acre tract on Gentilly Rd. within the 
city limits. Five of the nine projected campus buildings are now in use. 
They are built of stone and brick, in a modified Georgian architectural 
style, with simple Doric columns and pilasters. The campus shows 
promise of becoming one of the city s show places. 

Dillard University now offers four-year academic courses in arts and 
sciences, home economics, pre-medical training, music, and dramatics, 

298 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

which not only lead to the baccalaureate degree, but also prepare the 
student for entrance into professional schools and other institutions de 
voted to specialized graduate training. The university is likewise affili 
ated with the Flint-Goodridge Hospital. 

34. Orleans Tuberculosis Hospital, 1931 Gentilly Rd., cares for indigent 
persons with funds provided by the Orleans Community Chest (visiting 
hours 8-8). It has a capacity of 100 beds; admittance to the institution 
must come through the clinic of the Orleans Anti-Tuberculosis League, 
which is located at the same address. 

35. Milne Asylum for Destitute Girls, 1913 Gentilly Rd., the first institu 
tion of this type to be founded in Louisiana, was established in 1919 as a 
home for feeble-minded white girls and women. Prior to that time feeble 
minded persons had been committed to the State Insane Asylum. The 
original purpose of the Milne institution was to furnish a home for feeble 
minded girls of child-bearing age. The asylum has a capacity for 86 

The Milne Home occupies a i2-acre plot of land, which is used for re 
creation, gardening, and dairying. The New Orleans School Board fur 
nishes teachers for the institution; the inmates having sufficient mental 
ability are given training through the grammar-school grades. Home 
economics, including basket weaving, quilting, and sewing, are also 
taught, some of the products being sold for the benefit of the home. 

R. from circle on St. Bernard Ave.; R. from St. Bernard Ave. on N. Dorge- 
nois St.; L. from N. Dorgenois St. on Aubry St. 

36. Louisiana Reptile Farm, 2433 Aubry St. (open daily; no charge)^ 
supplies amphibians, reptiles, and tropical fish to pet shops, private 
collectors, and exhibitors. The farm specializes in baby alligators, green 
lizards, and the more ornamental baby turtles found in the vicinity of 
New Orleans. Among the oddities are various species of salamanders, 
newts, and treefrogs. 

Continue on Aubry St. to St. Bernard Ave.; L.from St. Bernard Ave. on N. 
Claiborne Ave.; L. from N. Claiborne Ave. on Mandeville St. 

37. The Crescent Fish Farm, 1624 Mandeville St. (open only by special 
arrangement with the owner}, is one of the largest fresh-water aquariums 
in the South. The farm raises and ships about 750,000 fish annually, 
including about 45 different species. Some of the more important kinds 
handled are the blue, gold, and red moonfishes, Mexican and other sword- 
tails, barbs, guppies, and several varieties of platys, gouramis, and 
fighting fish. 

Most of these tropical fish come under three groups: Those depositing 
eggs promiscuously, those forming nests on the surface of the water, and 
those bringing forth young alive. Very few importations of stock after 
the original are made, as the proprietor raises his own stock, specializing 
in a few species that have proved most profitable and easiest to breed; 
new species are added occasionally for experimental purposes. Most of 
the patronage of the farm comes from distant parts of the United States. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 299 

At different points in New Orleans, the Crescent Fish Farm owns and 
operates 800 concrete ponds, or basins, measuring 8J by 7 feet and hav 
ing a depth of 18 inches. About 500 of these are in the open, while the 
others are screened and in steam-heated buildings. The main plant on 
Mandeville Street covers about 2 acres. Here there are 400 glass aquaria 
for feeding some of the species in their earlier stages. 

R. from Mandeville St. on N. Roman St.; R. from N. Roman on St. Roch 


38. St. Roch Cemetery, 1725 St. Roch Ave., contains the Chapel of St. 

Roch, one of the most interesting shrines in the city. (See Cemeteries.) 

..from St. Roch Ave. on St. Claude Ave.; L.from St. Claude Ave. on Louisa 

59. St. Vincent de Paul s Cemetery, 1322 Louisa St., is the burial place of 

Jueen Marie of the Gypsies. (See Cemeteries.) 

leturn to St. Claude Ave.; R. from Louisa St. on St. Claude Ave.; L.from 

>"/. Claude Ave. on Port St. 

>. St. Paul s Evangelical Lutheran Church, uptown river corner Port 
id Burgundy Sts., is built on the site of the oldest Lutheran church 
(1843) m New Orleans. The present church was built in 1889 and re 
modeled in 1915. Originally the services were conducted in German. 
It is a raised frame building with a square tower and belfry, and a tall 
spire above the portico. The facade and spire are reminiscent in design 

)f New England Congregational Church buildings. A wide stairway leads 
up from each side meeting on a central landing. The interior is simple, 
series of round arched memorial windows in stained-glass designs line 

ic side walls. 

R. from Port St. on Burgundy St.; R. from Burgundy St. on Elysian 
Fields Ave.; L.from Elysian Fields Ave. on St. Claude Ave. 

Elysian Fields Avenue marks the site of the old Marigny Canal and the 
Pontchartrain Railroad, the first railroad west of the Alleghenies. 

41. At 2004 St. Claude Ave. is the largest of the establishments selling 
Poor Boy Sandwiches, foot-long, French bread sandwiches (lOff) crammed 
with a choice of cheese, meats, or seafood and garnished with lettuce, 
tomatoes, and dressing, which constitute New Orleans own answer to the 

Continue on N. Rampart St. in sweeping L. curve. 

42. The Etoile Polaire Lodge 1, 1433 N. Rampart St., was erected shortly 
after Masonry was introduced in New Orleans in 1794. Because of Spanish 
suppression of the society, the meeting-place was located outside the 
city ramparts. 

43. The Carmelite Convent, 1236 N. Rampart St., uptown river corner 
N. Rampart and Barracks Sts., one of the few convents maintained by 
the Carmelites in the United States, was founded in 1827 by two Creole 
ladies, Therese Roman and Marguerite Tremoulet, members of pro 
minent and wealthy Louisiana families. 

300 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

The rules of the order are extremely rigid. From the moment the Car 
melite nun repeats her vows she passes within the high walls, never again 
to see the city streets or go on visits to relatives or friends. The bare 
footed nuns subscribe to the most rigorous ascetic life known to feminine 
religious orders. Their life is spent wholly in meditation and prayer. 
Visitors are admitted only to the small chapel, or to the reception room. 
The building, a simple structure built along Gothic lines, is spacious and 
well designed. It is surrounded by a high cement wall. 

44. Fort St. Jean stood at the intersection of N. Rampart and Barracks 
Sts. until after 1803, and the ramparts, from which Rampart Street 
takes its name, extended to Fort Bourgogne at Iberville and N. Rampart 
Sts. Old Bayou Road (now Governor Nicholls St.) led out of the city 
through a gate. Along the ramparts of the old town between Bayou 
Road and Dumaine St. were the establishments once maintained by the 
young men of New Orleans for their quadroon mistresses. 

45. St. Mark s Community Center, 1130 N. Rampart St., was erected in 
1924 at a cost of $150,000. The church and community center comprise 
one of the most modern groups of its kind in the Southern Methodist 
Conference, and is the outgrowth of the efforts of a Methodist Episcopal 
missionary society established in 1908, at 615 Esplanade Ave. 

Built around a central courtyard, with St. Mark s Church forming one 
side of the quadrangle, the architectural grouping has been patterned 
after that of the old Spanish missions. The church units are constructed 
of cement-covered brick; red tile is used for roofing. 
In addition to the church auditorium there are clubrooms for children 
and adults, and apartments for the pastor and staff workers. A domestic 
science department, gymnasium, swimming pool, library, and free medical 
clinics have also been provided. 

46. Beauregard Square, between St. Ann and St. Peter Sts., has a colorful 
history as the site of Fort St. Ferdinand and Congo Square. Fort St. 
Ferdinand, erected during the Spanish regime, was destroyed during the 
administration of Governor Claiborne, about 1803, in an attempt on the 
part of the Americans to stamp out yellow fever, which was thought to 
be caused by the stagnant water of the moats and the general filthy con 
dition of the old forts then standing in ruins at the corners of the city 
ramparts. First used as a circus ground, the park was later enclosed 
with an iron fence and used by the townspeople as a Sunday afternoon 
gathering-place. The Negro slaves took advantage of the half holiday 
given them every Sunday to gather in Congo Sq., where they played 
games, sang to the accompaniment of tom-toms, and, it is said, performed 
their Voodoo dances and rites. 

The first and second Charity Hospitals faced the Square on the river side 
of Rampart St. The open space on the uptown side across St. Peter St. 
was, until about ten years ago, the terminus of the Old Basin and Caron- 
delet Canal. The canal, constructed under Governor Carondelet in the 
last decade of the i8th century, formed a waterway from the ramparts 
of the old city to Lake Pontchartrain. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 301 

47. The Municipal Auditorium, 727 St. Claude St., facing Beauregard 
Square (open to inspection 9~5 p.m.; Sat. 9-12; free}, was dedicated 
May 30, 1930, as a memorial to the dead heroes of the World War. The 
auditorium, one of the largest buildings in the city, shows off to advantage 
across the lawns of Beauregard Square. Modern in every aspect, it forms 
a striking contrast to its environs of old buildings and historic sites. Be 
hind the building on N. Liberty St., where the pumping station of the 
Sewerage and Water Board now stands, the first Parish Prison stood be 
tween 1830 and 1895. The riot and lynchings of March 4, 1891, took 
place there. 

The building, of Italian Renaissance architecture, has foundations and 
walls of rusticated limestone. The three principal entrances on St. Claude 
Ave., St. Peter and St. Ann Sts. have large stone porches with roofs and 
vaulted ceilings supported by square columns. The facade on St. Claude 
Ave. has high, wide, churchlike windows. A large stage, 130 feet by 50 
feet, can be raised or lowered by means of electrically operated screw 
jacks to afford area for balls or sports events. Two sets of proscenium 
walls, each set in three sections, can likewise be raised or lowered to pro 
vide stages for two halls. The total seating capacity, including balconies, 
is approximately 12,000. Eight double stairways and four ramps lead to 
the second-floor hallways. The adjoining exhibition building on N. 
Liberty St. is serviced with railroad tracks and has a completely equipped 
kitchen in addition to two concert halls. About 35,000 square feet of 
floor space is available to exhibitors in this building. The dividing walls 
of the concert rooms can be thrown open to form a complete unit of the 
entire second floor. Favrot and Livaudais were the architects. 

48. The Isolation Hospital, 513 N. Rampart St., was originally one of 
the old McDonogh school buildings. The structure housing the Isolation 
Hospital was purchased by the city from the New Orleans Terminal 
Railroad Company in 1914 to be converted into a hospital for individuals 
with diseases of such a nature as to require isolation. Shortly after the 
beginning of the World War the city was alarmed to discover among the 
inmates of the Volunteers of America Home several cases of bubonic 
plague. Immediate action was taken, and the old school building was 
quickly remodeled into a hospital where those infected might be isolated. 
The building was soon well equipped, and during the World W T ar when 
houses ot ill repute were closed, many prostitutes were detained here for 
treatment for venereal diseases. 

In 1918 the railroad company repurchased the property, but the city 
still continued to lease it for emergency cases. Occasional smallpox cases 
are treated here, and it has frequently been used as a detention home for 
runaway lepers from Carville. Nurses and attendants are kept on hand to 
take care of emergencies. Through the J. W. Sickle Fund indigent persons 
may obtain free medicine. 

49. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, downtown lake corner of N. 
Rampart and Conti Sts., was erected after a terrible yellow fever epi- 

302 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

demic, raging in New Orleans during the early iSoo s, induced the Board 
of Trustees of the St. Louis Cathedral to erect a mortuary chapel adjoin 
ing the then recently removed St. Louis Cemetery, in order to avoid 
1 those funeral processions which are but too apt to scatter throughout 
the city the fatal miasma of fever. On December 27, 1827, Pere Antoine 
de Sedella blessed the new sanctuary, where all funeral rites of the Vieux 
Carre were performed until 1860. Upon the completion of the mortuary 
chapel the City Council declared anyone who exposed a corpse in St. 
Louis Cathedral subject to a fine of $50. Known at first as St. Anthony s 
Chapel, it is now commonly referred to as the Mortuary Chapel. 

As cholera and yellow fever ran riot in the city, so many funerals were 
held that it became necessary to appoint Father Romero resident chap 
lain. By 1853, however, although the chapel continued its usefulness, the 
establishment of numerous churches throughout the city obviated the 
need for a single mortuary, and the sanitary ruling of 1827, becoming 
obsolete, was revoked. After the Civil War, Father Turgis, soldier- 
priest of the Confederacy, was given charge of this church, and there the 
faithful priest said mass daily for his old companions-at-arms, surviving 
veterans of the struggle. According to parish tradition, these old soldiers 
whom he had led through the war knelt with Father Turgis about the 
quaint confessional every Saturday night. In January, 1875, the Most 
Reverend Archbishop Napoleon Joseph Perche converted the former mor 
tuary chapel into a parish church for the growing Italian population of the 
original city. Since 1921, under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 
this church has ministered to parishioners of Spanish descent and to the 
city Fire and Police Departments. 

The Shrine of St. Jude, Helper in Desperate and Hopeless Cases, is 
designated by a statue and relic of the saint and is situated in the interior 
of the church, at the right side of the high altar near the communion rail. 
To the right of the church entrance is the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, 
a miniature copy of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, at Lourdes, 
France. To the left is the War Memorial erected by Father Bornes in 
memory of soldiers from the parish killed during the World War. 

Cross neutral ground and return on N. Rampart St. to St. Louis St.; L.from 
N. Rampart St. on St. Louis St. 

50. St. Louis Cemetery 1, St. Louis, N. Saratoga, Conti, and N. Liberty 
Sts., contains the tombs of many of the oldest New Orleans families. 
(See Cemeteries.) 

L. from St. Louis St. on N. Robertson St. 

51. St. Louis Cemetery 2, bounded by N. Robertson, St. Louis, N. Clai- 
borne, and Iberville Sts., contains many interesting tombs, including 
that of Dominique You and the unmarked Voodoo grave. (See Ceme 

L. from N. Robertson on Bienville St.; R. from Bienwlle on N. Saratoga St. 

Motor Tour 1 (Canal Street to Lake-Front) 


52. This vicinity was once notorious Storyville, the wide-open red-light 
district where brothels flourished and jazz was born. Many of the cribs/ 
little one- and two-room cottages, are still to be seen. The bagnios on 
Basin St. (N. Saratoga St.), where the Countess Willie Piazza, Josie 
Arlington, Kate Townsend, and other vice queens pandered flesh in 
luxurious establishments, are no longer standing, although part of Lulu 
White s palace at 235 N. Saratoga St. can still be seen with her name cut 
into the glass transom. (See Gay Times in Old New Orleans.) 


From BAYOU ROAD to CITY PARK, 12 m. 

The Esplanade bus (Canal and Dauphine Sts.) roughly parallels the tour 

Downtown from Canal St. on Chartres St.; L. from Chartres St. on Gov. 
Nicholls St. 

THE route here follows the old Bayou Road, an Indian trail connecting 
Bayou St. John and the Mississippi River, pointed out to Bienville by the 
Indians years before New Orleans was founded. Serving the city as a 
highway joining the Spanish Trail (Gentilly Rd.), the highroad to the 
Floridas and points east, the trail left the city through a gate next to 
Fort St. John at Rampart and Gov. Nicholls Sts. 

53. St. Augustine s Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., uptown lake corner St. 
Claude and Gov. Nicholls Sts., the third oldest Catholic parish church in 
the city, stands on the site of the College of Orleans, erected in 1811 as the 
first institution of higher learning in Louisiana. In the course of construc 
tion of the church in 1841 a troublesome problem arose. The Negroes 
attending Mount Carmel Convent, close by the ground donated to the 
diocese by the Ursuline Nuns for the erection of a church in honor of their 
patron saint, St. Augustine, were of the opinion that, since the school had 
been established for their benefit, the proposed church was likewise to be 
for the use of their race. To prevent this appropriation subscriptions 
were solicited all over the city. Free Negroes purchased many of the 
pews, with the result that Negroes and whites sat rather close to each 
other in the new church; traditional separation of races was restored by 
the abolition of the pew-renting system. In 1925, in remodeling the in 
terior, the old Orleans College was demolished to make way for an ex 
tension of the sanctuary. The convent is still standing. 

Motor Tour 2 (Bayou Road to City Park) 305 

54. The Goldtkwaite House, 1418 Gov. Nicholls St., designed by De 
Pouilly and built in 1834, has been occupied by the same family since 
1840. A typical Creole house of the period, it is a one-story cement- 
covered brick building with plastered round pillars and high roof. The 
cypress woodwork is held in place with pegs. 

Continue on Bayou Rd., the extension of Gov. Nicholls St., after crossing N. 
Claiborne Ave. 

55. The Gayarre Place Monument, a stock figure, presumably of Liberty, 
on a red sandstone base, is a relic of the Cotton Centennial Exposition 
held in New Orleans in 1884-85. Gayarre Place is named for Charles 
fitienne Gayarre, the New Orleans historian. 

56. The Benachi Mansion, 2257 Bayou Rd., is a two-story frame building 
erected about 1849 by Nicholas M. Benachi, a native of Greece, who 
made a fortune in this country operating a line of steamers. It is said 
that the house was first used as a sort of country club by a group of 
wealthy French and Creole residents of New Orleans and was known as 
the Rendezvous des Chasseurs. Many prominent Frenchmen were 
entertained here. A wide gallery projects from the first and second floors 
of the facade. The ivy vine design in the ironwork and the pairs of square, 
wooden pillars of the galleries are distinctive. 

57. Le Breton Market, corner Bayou Rd. and N. Dorgenois St., used to be 
an Indian trading-center, where the Choctaws brought their blankets, 
baskets, medicinal herbs, and gumbo file (powdered sassafras root) to 
barter for guns, knives, or trinkets. 

L. from Bayou Rd. on Grand Route St. John; R. from Grand Route St. 
John on Sauvage St. 

58. Fair Grounds (Louisiana Jockey Club), main gate, Sauvage and Fortin 
Sts., is the last of New Orleans famous race courses. Shrubbery, flowers, 
fountains, and artificial lakes make it one of the most beautiful courses 
in the country. The glass-enclosed, steam-heated grandstand has a 
seating capacity of about 6000. Approximately 100 days of racing, be 
ginning on Thanksgiving Day each year, are offered. Seven races are 
held daily starting at 2.30; Daily Double, second and third races; Quinella, 
last race. The certificate system of betting, much the same as pari-mutuel, 
is in effect. Several $1000 handicaps are held each year, with the Louisi 
ana Derby the feature race. White and colored are admitted. 

Return and continue on Grand Route St. John; L. from Grand Route St. 
John on Moss St. 

59. Bayou St. John, which extends from Lafitte Ave. to Lake Pontchar- 
train, was at one time an important waterway. Its proximity to the 
Mississippi and the ease with which merchandise could be transported 
from the river to Lake Pontchartrain made it a deciding factor in Bien- 
ville s selection of the surrounding area as the site of New Orleans. The 
bayou became an important water route over which the Indians and early 
settlers transported their wares to and from the city. A canal, built by 

306 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

Governor Carondelet in the last decade of the i8th century, made it 
possible for boats to penetrate as far as the ramparts of the town opposite 
Toulouse St. 

During the igth century, the bayou district between Esplanade Ave. and 
Dumaine St. was regarded as a fine suburban area, and many beautiful 
homes were erected. Six of these plantation houses, two-story buildings 
with surrounding galleries and large high-ceilinged rooms, are still 

The bayou has always been a favorite place for outings. A number of 
famous resort hotels flourished in the vicinity of Spanish Fort during the 
last century. An amusement park, gambling palace, and theater, built 
in the i88o s, attracted many visitors. On St. John s Eve, strange Voo 
doo rites were performed along the banks of the bayou, in which Negroes, 
led by Marie Laveau, their priestess, indulged in weird orgies. 

After the city filled in Carondelet Canal in 1927, Bayou St. John lost 
its commercial value. The channel in the lake end of the bayou filled in, 
all drainage came to a stop, and the whole section fell into a state of 
neglect. Under the W.P.A. the bayou has been cleared, and extensive 
beautification is under way. 

Fire and the lapse of time have destroyed all trace of the former resort 
establishments. Only the crumbling ruins of Spanish Fort (see Motor 
Tour 1), the fine plantation homes along Moss St., and the houseboat 
colony between the railroad bridge and the lake remain of the commercial 
bustle and the holiday spirit of the old bayou. 

The plantation homes still standing, all of which face Moss St. and the 
bayou, are typical of their period. They consist of two stories, with dor 
mers projecting from the roofs. The high-ceilinged rooms, the doors and 
windows of which extend from ceiling to floor, open on broad galleries that 
surround the homes. Verandah railings are of ornamental iron with 
wooden handrails. 

60. The Walter Parker House, 924 Moss St. (open daily 12-4; adm. 25^, 
benefit Anti-Tuberculosis League of Louisiana) was built in 1798 on land 
purchased from Don Andres Almonester y Roxas. The columned porti 
coes, broad loggias, embrasured French windows, slave quarters, and 
spacious garden are typical of the period. The mantels throughout the 
house and the beautiful stairway which ascends to the third floor are of 
hand-carved Santo Domingan mahogany. The floor of the second story 
is constructed of boards riven from the central portion of cypress logs. 
The Moorish arches have jalousies in keeping with the tradition that a 
Spaniard peeps before entering his house. 

Turn and return on Moss St. 

61. The Helen Pitkin Schertz House, 1300 Moss St., often referred to as 
the Spanish Custom House because it was supposed to have been a stor 
age place for contraband goods confiscated from the pirates who ran 
their boats up the bayou, is one of the best preserved and most attractive 

Motor Tour 2 (Bayou Road to City Park) 307 

of the city s old plantation homes. Built about 1784, it is one of the 
West Indian type of plantation dwellings, broad galleries permitting free 
circulation of air through the original two rooms on each floor. The 
first floor is of plastered brick, with Pompeian brick columns supporting 
the gallery; the second story with its wooden gallery and slanting roof 
is constructed of wood. The two dormer windows in the American 
Colonial style were probably added later. A narrow outer stairway 
leads to the second floor at one end of the gallery. A floor of slate flagging 
overlays the original brick flooring, and an additional room has been 
added along the rear of the house. 

Other plantation homes on the east bank of the bayou, built about the 
same time and similar in design, are Our Lady of Holy Rosary School, 
1342 Moss St., and the Louis Cucullu House, 1370 Moss St. 

62. The Aristee Tissot House, 1400 Moss St., built by the Ducayet family 
in the early part of the igth century, presents a different design. There 
is a wide center hall with a double parlor on the right and a dining-room, 
also a double apartment, on the left. The front gallery is supported by 
circular brick columns; the upper columns are square and of wood; the 
roof is gabled with dormer windows. The house came into the possession 
of Judge A. L. Tissot through his father. 

Cross Bayou St. John at Harding Drive Bridge. 

63. The Elizabeth Wisner House, 1347 Moss St., facing the bayou and 
bridge, was occupied in 1882 by the first fencing club to be formed in 
New Orleans. The place also housed a famous rowing club during the 
days when that fashionable sport centered on the bayou. 

Return across bridge and continue on Moss St. 

64. Camp Nicholls, 1700 Moss St., is a Confederate soldiers home estab 
lished in 1883 during the administration of Gov. Nicholls. Only a few 
veterans remain in the institution. On the grounds may be seen several 
old cannon taken from Spanish Fort and a submarine torpedo boat, 
said to be the first of its kind, constructed by a Captain Hunley during 
the Civil War. The boat sank in the bayou on its first trial, and lay 
submerged many years before being salvaged. 

Turn and return on Moss St.; R. from Moss St. on Esplanade Ave. 

City Park, extending along City Park Ave., from Bayou St. John to 
Orleans Ave. and running back to Robert E. Lee Blvd., is the sixth 
largest park in the United States, and will probably rank higher after 
extension work under the Works Progress Administration is completed. 
The tract of land, formerly the Allard Plantation, became city property 
in 1850 through John McDonogh s will and was reserved for park pur 
poses, although actual improvements to that end did not start until 1896. 

Since then, the park has been continually enlarged and beautified. 
Magnificent groves of live oaks, flower gardens, and lagoons and drive 
ways, flanked by oak, magnolia, palm, crepe myrtle, camphor, and 
banana trees, form a setting for two i8-hole golf courses, a fine swim- 

308 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

ming pool, 33 tennis courts, a large football stadium, baseball diamonds, 
a concert platform, extensive picnic grounds, and an art museum. 

On a raised mound at the Esplanade Avenue entrance to the park stands 
Beauregard Monument, the equestrian statue of the * Great Creole, Gen. 
P. G. T. Beauregard, who fought courageously in behalf of the Con 
federate cause at Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Shiloh, and on many other 
Civil War battlefields. 

The Beauregard Monument Association was organized the day of the 
general s death, February 21, 1893, but it was not until twenty years 
later that the $22,000 required for the monument was finally raised. In 
1913 the cornerstone was laid, and two years later the statue, the work 
of Alexander Doyle, the sculptor of Lee Monument, was unveiled by 
the general s granddaughter, Hilda Beauregard. 

The handsome statue, showing in bronze the same i perfect self-possessed 
soldier that he (Beauregard) was in life, is set on an oblong block of 
granite. All the restraint and quiet dignity which characterized Beaure 
gard are portrayed in the features. 

At the end of Lelong Ave., a continuation of Esplanade Ave. into the park, 
is the Isaac Delgado Museum of A rt (open daily except Mon. 10-5 ; Sun. 1 1-5 ; 
closed on holidays; adm. free). It was built in 1911 through a $150,000 
bequest of Isaac Delgado, prominent New Orleans philanthropist. 
Upon the death of its founder, the museum came into possession of Mr. 
Delgado s own extensive and rather valuable collection of objets d art. 
This collection, consisting mainly of decorative work, ceramics, furni 
ture, and enamelwork, formed the nucleus about which the museum was 
built. Numerous families in the city have made contributions of art and 

The Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, referred to locally as the Delgado, 
is under the control of a board of administrators composed jointly of 
members of the Art Association of New Orleans and the City Park Im 
provement Association. The former has been the principal support of 
the museum, although the municipality, according to the donor s stipu 
lation, maintains the building. In the words of the architects, the design 
was inspired by the Greek, sufficiently modified to give a subtropical 
appearance. There are six Ionic columns across the portico, and the 
limestone walls are bare, save where terra-cotta panels have been set in. 
On either side of the portico there are sculptural decorations set in panels 
below the entablature. The sculpture is formal Greek, in terra-cotta, 
designed to match as nearly as possible the limestone walls. On the 
outer walls of the building are engraved the names of many noted artists. 
The galleries, which overlook three sides of the spacious entrance hall, 
are supported by Ionic columns. They and the rooms above are hung 
with paintings, etchings, etc. The plan of each side, above and below, 
is identical : a long rectangular room in the middle, with a smaller square 
at each end, making a total of twelve rooms in addition to the large 
square entrance hall. 

Motor Tour 2 (Bayou Road to City Park) 309 

Since the most considerable portion of the museum s exhibits is from 
the homes of New Orleans families, the dominant influence is French. 

The entire main floor, the entrance hall of which is two stories in height, 
is devoted to statuary, bronzes, and collections of jades and other objets 
d art. The Morgan Whitney collection of more than 90 pieces of jade 
and other hard stones, the Alvin P. Howard collection of 60 pieces of 
Greek pottery, the Joseph Holt collection of some 40 examples of Oriental 
porcelain and cloisonne enamel, and the Isaac Cline collection of 130 
pieces of Oriental bronzes are most outstanding. Among the statuary, 
most of which are reproductions of classic sculpture, Houdon s bronze 
Diana and Rude s Hebe and the Eagle of Jupiter are perhaps the 
most striking. 

The galleries above are hung with paintings and etchings, the best 
group being the Hyams collection of ipth-century paintings, which 
includes Bouguereau s Whisperings of Love, Kronberger s Head of 
Old Woman, a Corot, and two pieces by Gerome. Particularly fine are 
Arkhipov s Russian Peasant Woman, Reynolds s Portrait of Eliza 
Hartley, and the Madonna and Child attributed to Giovanni del 
Biondo. The canvases of many local artists, among them Clague, 
Perelli, Poincy, Wlkstrom, Molinary, the Woodwards, Smith, and Hall, 
are included. 

Lectures on the arts and allied subjects are occasionally given, semi 
annual shows in the interest of local artists are held, and loan exhibitions 
with other museums and art organizations throughout the country are 

The Dueling Oaks and Suicide Oak are famous trees standing near the 
art museum. The former derived their name from the fact that they 
served as a favorite spot at which affairs of honor were settled by sword 
or pistol in the days when satisfaction for an insult was obtained by 
spilling blood; the latter is so called because of the fact that many dis 
consolate lovers and bankrupts committed suicide there. Of the Hueston- 
La Branche duel, one of the most dramatic and blood-stirring ever to 
take place under the Dueling Oaks, Henry Castellanos gives the follow 
ing account in Xew Orleans as It Was: 

The principals were Alcee La Branche and Hueston, editor of the Baton 
Rouge Gazette. Hueston insulted La Branche through the pages of his 
paper; La Branche retaliated by giving Hueston a public beating. The 
affair aroused great interest, for both men were public figures numbering 
thousands among their friends. Many newspapers took up the matter, 
hastening the inevitable climax of the duel. \Yithin twenty-four hours 
notes were exchanged, seconds selected, and the time set. The weapons 
chosen were double-barreled shotguns, loaded with ball; the distance 40 
yards; the word of command was to be Fire one two three 
four five/ each combatant to discharge his barrels after the word 
Fire and before the word Five. 

At the word of command both participants discharged their guns, but 
neither was hit. A second ordeal duplicated the first, but on the third 

310 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

trial Hueston received a scalp wound, indicating to the witnesses that 
La Branche s intent was to kill, rather than to maim or cripple, his oppo 
nent. Although members of the crowd tried to stop the affair at this 
point, believing that enough had been done to vindicate the honor and 
attest the courage of the antagonists, Hueston insisted upon a fourth 
round. The end came when his lifeless body fell at the feet of the man whom 
he had insulted, pierced by the eighth ball discharged from La Branche s 

Louis Allard, who, as a destitute old man, was permitted to live on 
the land after it had been sold, is buried in a cement-covered brick 
tomb beneath a great moss-hung oak near a bridge about 1000 feet 
southwest of the art museum. 

At the right of the main entrance on City Park Ave., surrounded by 
shrubbery, and with poppies growing at its base, is a 1 2-foot Corinthian 
column, a World War Memorial erected in honor of the soldiers of 
Louisiana who lost their lives in the war. The monument was erected 
by the American Legion of New Orleans and unveiled on May 29, 1921. 
The shaft represents a torch, and inscribed on the pedestal is the first 
stanza of In Flanders Fields. On the capital are carved the emblems 
of the army, navy, air, and marine service. 

The Greek Peristyle, near the Dumaine St. entrance to the park, the 
W. H. McFadden House, a private residence built on land purchased 
before the surrounding area became city property, which may be seen 
from the museum, and the formal garden across the lagoon to the rear 
of the museum are other points of interest. 

W. on City Park Ave. 

65. Isaac Delgado Central Trades School 615 City Park Ave., functions 
under the supervision of a board of managers consisting of ten members, 
five of whom, including the mayor of New Orleans and other public 
officials of the city and State, are ex-officio members. 

The school, which is now operated by means of local, State, and Federal 
grants, owes its origin to Isaac Delgado, who conceived the idea of a 
trade school and bequeathed in 1912 about $750,000 for its erection. 
The Board of Managers took no immediate action, but allowed the 
funds to accumulate until they totaled roughly $1,250,000. The school 
was completed and opened to students in 1921. The cost of construction 
and equipment totaled nearly $1,000,000 

Built of brick upon a limestone base, the school building follows no 
particular period of architectural style. It was designed primarily to 
utilize all available exterior space so as to give a maximum of daylight 
to the interior and is really four buildings in one, forming a complete 
square with a large courtyard in the center. The building is three stories 
high and has 166,723 square feet of floor space. 

Workshops, with sliding partitions and adjoining classrooms, are located 
on every floor. By throwing open the sliding partitions, several adjoin 
ing workshops can be transformed into one, thus enabling the students 

Motor Tour 2 (Bayou Road to City Park) 311 

to work on full-size construction rather than scale models. A large audi 
torium and exhibition hall and a modern cafeteria run by the students of 
commercial cooking are on the third floor. 

The Isaac Delgado School is open for 44 weeks each year to all white 
boys over 16 years of age who are residents of the State and who have 
completed the grammar-school grades. Instruction is free, all equipment, 
except overalls, being furnished. So great is the popularity of the school 
that it cannot accommodate all those who wish to enter; the average 
enrollment in the day school is 550, but more than 900 attend the same 
courses which are offered at night six months during the year. 

Training is outlined to cover a 3-year course, the first of which is given 
to preparatory work, the second to trade skill, and the third to advanced 
theory and extension teaching. Courses are offered in printing, car 
pentry, plumbing, commercial cooking, metal-working, cabinet-making, 
interior decorating, sign-painting, electricity, architectural and mechani 
cal drafting, applied science, and trades English. Special attention is 
given to students who are handicapped by loss of sight or limb. Visitors 
are welcomed. 

Cross neutral ground and return on City Park Ave.; R.from City Park Ave. 
on Esplanade Ave. 

66. St. Louis Cemetery 3, 3421 Esplanade Ave., occupies the site of the 
old Bayou Cemetery established in 1835. ($ ee Cemeteries.) 

L. from Esplanade Ave. on Leda St. 

67. The Luling Mansion, 1438 Leda St., now known as the Louisiana 
Jockey Club, was built by the elder Gallier from a rather crude design 
by its owner, an exile from Germany during the Revolution of 1848. 
The original estate totaled 80 acres, the building and the surrounding 
park-like grounds covering more than 10 acres. In 1880 the property 
passed to the Louisiana Jockey Club. The four-story building is of 
cement-covered brick, with a balcony projecting from each story and 
circling the entire building. The house was modeled after a French 
chateau. The cost of the structure, exclusive of appointments, amounted 
to a sum between $125,000 and $140,000. It was completed in 1865. 

Return and continue on Esplanade Ave.; R. from Esplanade Ave. on N. 
Dorgenois St. 

68. The Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 1222 N. Dorgenois 
St., erected in 1866, claims the honor of being the first Hellenic Orthodox 
Church in America. 

Return and continue on Esplanade Ave. 

A number of interesting houses, ranging in style from simple Creole 
cottages to elaborate Greek Revival mansions, are to be seen along 
Esplanade Ave. and vicinity from here on. (See French Quarter Tour.) 

69. The Baldwin House, 1707 Esplanade Ave., was built in 1859-60 by 
Cyprian Dufour and was purchased in 1869 by Albert Baldwin, Sr., 

312 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

who made extensive repairs. It is a two-story, cement-covered brick 
structure with massive Corinthian columns supporting the spacious 
upper balcony and the roof. Immense rooms with high ceilings, carved 
Italian marble mantels, stained-glass windows, beveled mirrors, and a 
carved, mahogany winding staircase made it a show place of its day. 

70. St. Anna s Church, 1313 Esplanade Ave., which started as a seaman s 
mission in 1846, is one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the city. 
The present church was erected in 1876, and contains memorial tablets 
dedicated to prominent Episcopalian clergymen of early days. 

71. The Col. Cuthbert Slocomb House, 1205 Esplanade Ave., downtown 
lake corner Esplanade and St. Claude Aves., now occupied by the Sisters, 
Servants of Mary, was built ten years before the Civil War and served 
for a time, years after its construction, as the residence of the Arch 
bishop of New Orleans. For many years it was the property of Col. 
Cuthbert Slocomb, a hardware merchant. 

The two-story, cement-covered brick building has a highly ornamental 
exterior. The brick is made to imitate dressed stone. A paved marble 
walk leads ten feet from the street to the stone steps of the entrance and 
the tiled portico with roof supported by four Corinthian columns. The 
house has a side balcony of massive proportions and a beautiful mosaic 
pavement. The interior is exceptional because of a mahogany stairway 
surmounted with a dome of stained glass. 

R.from Esplanade Ave. on N. Rampart St. to Canal St. (See Tour 1.) 


The St. Charles street-car (Canal and Baronne Sts.) roughly parallels the 
tour route. 

Uptown from Canal St. on St. Charles St. 

72. St. Charles Hotel, between Common and Gravier Sts., stands on the 
site of two former hotels of the same name which vied for fame with the 
St. Louis Hotel on St. Louis and Royal Sts. during the igth century. 
The original hotel, one of the finest in the United States at the time 
of its opening in 1837, was designed by Gallier and Dakin and erected 
at a cost of $800,000. It had columns across the facade and was topped 
with a magnificent dome, the first landmark seen by travelers entering 
the city. (A fine model of it may be seen in the Cabildo, Chartres and 
St. Peter Sts.) 

Planters coming into the city to do business with their factors and 
engage in a bit of revelry usually selected the St. Charles. It was here 
that slaves were brought from the pens of the nigger traders on Gravier, 
Common, and Carondelet Sts. to be auctioned off at the hotel s exchange. 
A new hotel was built after the original was destroyed by fire in 1851. 
General Butler, after he took over the city in 1862, being refused Parlor P, 
usually reserved for notables, assumed control of the entire establish 
ment. A long list of famous persons, including John Wilkes Booth, 
McKinley, Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Bryan, and Jefferson Davis, 
have stopped here. 

The present hotel was constructed in 1896 after a second fire had destroyed 
its predecessor, and has since been remodeled. 

73. St. Charles TJieater, 432 St. Charles St., stands on the site of a former 
and more famous playhouse known by the same name erected in 1835 

314 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

by James Caldwell, father of American drama in New Orleans. No 
other theater in this country, and only three auditoriums in all Europe 
Naples, Milan, and Vienna compared with it in size and splendor. 

Fires in 1842 and 1899 destroyed the first two theaters on the site; the 
present structure dates from 1902. Now a movie palace, it once offered 
entertainment by such celebrities as James Brutus Booth, Edwin Booth, 
Joe Jefferson, Jenny Lind, J. H. McVicker, Tom Placide, and Charlotte 

74. Lafayette Square, bounded by St. Charles, South, Camp, and North 
Sts., an attractively landscaped public square, was the American counter 
part of the Creole Place d Armes. Formerly called Place Publique and 
Mr. Gravier s Square, it has been the site of many historic events. 

Facing St. Charles St., on a white granite pedestal, is the McDonogh 
Monument. The figures of a small boy and girl are shown offering floral 
tributes to the man who left his fortune to the public schools of Baltimore 
and New Orleans. John McDonogh came from Baltimore to New Orleans 
when 22 years of age, and established himself in the social and business 
life of the city. Within a few years he had accumulated a fortune, 
much of which he spent lavishly in the usual manner of popular young 
bachelors. It is said that two tragic love affairs changed his life com 
pletely and that by the time he had reached middle age he was a lonely, 
friendless old miser, from whom children shrank, and at whom dogs 
barked. At his death in 1850 his entire fortune was left to the free 
schools of this city and those of his native home, Baltimore, with the 
simple request that the children of the free schools be permitted to 
plant and water a few flowers around my grave. 

New Orleans and Baltimore each received approximately $750,000. 
New Orleans built thirty-six public-school buildings, in each of which 
was placed a bust of McDonogh. In 1892 a movement to acknowledge 
the debt of New Orleans to McDonogh was begun, and by 1898 $7,000 
mostly five-cent contributions from school children had been raised, 
and Atallio Picoirilli, a young New York sculptor, designed the statue 
of bronze and granite. 

On December 29, 1898, McDonogh s birthday, the bust was unveiled. 
Each year on the first Friday in May, the school children of New Orleans 
make a pilgrimage to the statue and lay their floral offerings on or around 
the monument; the white children pay their homage in the morning, 
the Negro children in the afternoon. The body of McDonogh, first buried 
on his own plantation near Algiers, was removed to Baltimore, his native 
city, but the annual pilgrimage in New Orleans has been kept up, and 
is now one of the most impressive of civil observances. 
In the center of the square stands the Clay Monument, a bronze statue 
of the Great Pacificator. Clay, whose daughter had married a native 
of Louisiana, was a frequent visitor to New Orleans. Immediately after 
his death in 1852 a Clay Monumental Association was organized, and 
on April 12, 1856, the cornerstone of the monument was laid by his 

Motor Tour 3 (Audubon Park and Universities) 315 

fellow Masons. Four years later the statue was completed and unveiled 
in view of one of the greatest gatherings ever to witness such a ceremony 
in New Orleans. Business houses closed, and hundreds of flags floated 
from buildings. The statue stood for forty-one years at the corner of 
Canal and Royal Sts., but in 1901, because of the heavy traffic, it was 
moved to Lafayette Sq., replacing the monument of Benjamin Franklin 
which had previously stood in the center of the square. 

The bronze statue stands on a polished granite pedestal, with concrete 
steps on four sides. Clay is represented as he so often appeared in 
debate, with his sincere, intent look and outstretched hand. The monu 
ment was designed by Joel T. Hart of Kentucky, and executed in Munich. 
Lorado Taft, in commenting on the work, declared that the admirably 
ugly head was well carved and full of life. 

Behind the Clay Monument on the Camp St. side of the square stands 
the Franklin Monument. The statue, which is slightly larger than life 
size, is an exact copy of the Franklin statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago. 
It is cast of bronze and bears the inscription on the base : * Dedicated to 
all the People of New Orleans by Henry Wadsworth Gustine of Chicago, 

When the statue of Benjamin Franklin, designed by Hiram Powers, was 
removed from Lafayette Sq. to the New Orleans Library, Henry Wads- 
worth Gustine, a retired business man of Chicago, who spent his winters 
in New Orleans, donated to the city a second statue of Franklin to fill 
the vacant spot left by the first. A pedestal for the statue was donated 
by the various printers organizations of the city. The statue was unveiled 
October 20, 1926, on the eighty-ninth birthday of the donor. 

75. The City Hall, 543 St. Charles St., facing Lafayette Sq., is the 
finest example of Greek Revival architecture in the city. James Gallier, 
Sr., drew the plans and superintended the construction. After much de 
lay, caused principally by the lack of funds, the building was finally 
dedicated on May 10, 1853. There is no cornerstone, only a tablet reading 
Erected 1850, James Gallier, Architect. 

In his autobiography Gallier wrote : The portico and ashlar of the front 
of the City Hall are of white marble procured from quarries near New 
York; the basement and steps are of granite. The style of architecture 
is Grecian Ionic, and the portico is considered a very chaste and highly 
finished example of that style. 

The building has a 9O-foot front on St. Charles St. and extends 215 feet 
on Lafayette St. Counting the basement, it is three stories high. A hall 
way 12 feet wide runs from front to rear of the two upper floors, and 
is intercepted at right angles by a 1 4-foot hall at the Lafayette St. en 
trance. The latter hall contains a flight of very worn marble steps. 

The entrance on St. Charles St. is reached by a flight of Quincy granite 
steps leading up between the pillars of the portico. There is a double row 
of these pillars, six in front and four in the rear. The pediment is decora 
ted with bas-relief figures of Justice attended by Commerce and Manu 

3i6 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

The platform of the portico is 14 feet above the street level and runs 
entirely across the front. During Carnival time, and on other special 
occasions, a wooden platform is built out over the sidewalk along the 
entire front, providing a reviewing stand with seats for invited guests. 
The roof is of peculiar design, being partly of wood and partly of iron, 
confined to a very flat pitch, and spanning a width of 86 feet. The walls 
of the mayor s parlor, corridors, and Council Chamber are hung with 
many fine old paintings, some acquired in recent years, but many of them 
taken from the Cabildo and other former municipal buildings. 

Many destructive changes have been made in the City Hall, and it is 
planned that sometime in the near future a new city hall will be built 
to accommodate the city s expanding governmental departments. At 
present the City Hall s auxiliary buildings total four: the City Hall 
Annex and the Sewerage & Water Board Building on Carondelet St., and 
the Soule Building and the Howard Annex on St. Charles St. The 
Howard Annex, the white building immediately adjoining the City Hall, 
was built before the Civil War by the Slocomb family, and in the seventies 
was the home of Cora Urquhart Potter, the well-known beauty and 

Many political demonstrations, especially during the Reconstruction 
Period and in 1934 between the forces of Mayor Walmsley and Senator 
Long, have taken place at the City Hall. After the capture of the city 
by the Federal forces in 1862, the lowering of the State flag at the hall 
caused a demonstration in which Mayor Monroe played an heroic part. 
Famous citizens, including Governor Isaac Johnson, Charles Breaux, 
Jefferson Davis, General Beauregard, Chief of Police Hennessy, Bertie 
Sneed, and Mayor Behrman, lay in state here before being carried to 
their resting-places. Harding addressed a vast gathering here in the 
winter of 1921 before taking office as President. William McKinley, 
Theodore Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover were also received here. 

76. The First Presbyterian Church, 630 South St., facing Lafayette Sq., 
occupies the site of a former church destroyed by fire in 1854. Dedicated 
in 1857, the architecture of the stucco-covered brick church is modified 
English Gothic. Dr. B. M. Palmer, noted civic leader and one of the 
most active secessionists in 1861, ably served the church as its pastor 
from 1856 to 1902. 

At the time of writing, the Government is closing a transaction taking 
over the church, along with the adjoining property between Camp and 
Church Sts., for the erection of a Federal building. 

77. The Row of Buildings on the uptown side of Julia St. between St. 
Charles and Camp Sts., was known in its heyday (about 1840) as the 
Thirteen Buildings. These houses were, at that time, the homes of 
socially prominent Americans. Eliza Ripley in Social Life in Old New 
Orleans tells of the elaborate ball given in one of them for Henry Clay. 
Oddly enough, this once fashionable street was named for Julia, a free 
woman of color, said to have been the favorite of an early Louisiana 

Motor Tour 3 (Audubon Park and Universities) 317 

78. The George W. Campbell House, 805 St. Charles St., uptown lake cor 
ner of St. Charles and Julia Sts., one of the finest mansions in its day, was 
built about 1857 by Dr. George W. Campbell, a physician and sugar 
planter. General Butler ejected the owners, permitting them to take only 
the clothes they wore, and made the place his residence for the final weeks 
of his stay in New Orleans. 

The two-story brick house has 1 8-foot ceilings, doors with solid rosewood 
panels, and a beautiful circular staircase with balustrade of hand-carved 
rosewood. Each room has a magnificently carved marble mantel. The 
basement of the house has been converted into space for six shops, and 
the upper floors are now apartments. 

79. Lee Monument, Lee Circle, intersection of St. Charles and Howard 
Aves., is the focal point of vistas converging at the circle. On a high 
pedestal placed in the center of a green, circular mound rises the magnifi 
cent bronze statue of General Robert E. Lee, one of the finest erected 
in the United States in honor of the popular Confederate hero. 

The Robert E. Lee Monumental Association was formed in 1870, the 
year of Lee s death, for the purpose of erecting a monument in memory 
of the Confederate general; but the difficult days during Reconstruction 
delayed the plans for several years. In 1876 sufficient funds were raised 
to begin work, and Alexander Doyle, a young New York sculptor, who 
also created the Beauregard and Army of Tennessee monuments, was 
employed to design the statue. Because the treasury in those days was 
more often empty than replenished, the work did not progress rapidly, 
and seven years elapsed before the bronze figure on the tall, white marble 
shaft stood ready for the unveiling ceremonies. On Washington s Birth 
day, 1884, the memorial was dedicated in the presence of a vast throng 
of witnesses and many distinguished visitors. Among these were Jefferson 
Davis, General Beauregard, and dozens of other officials and friends of 
Robert E. Lee. 

The marble shaft holding the statue rests on a 1 2-foot base consisting of 
pyramidal steps of Georgia granite. The fluted column, rising 60 feet in 
the air, is made of white Tennessee marble. Atop this, with arms folded 
and eyes gazing off, as if over a field of battle, is the bronze figure of Lee, 
16^2 feet tall and weighing nearly 7000 pounds. The statue is illuminated 
by lights concealed in four bronze urns placed at its base in 1930. 

Make three-fourths turn at Lee Circle. 

80. The Howard Memorial Library, 60 1 Howard Ave., corner Lee Circle 
and Howard Ave. (open weekdays 9-6), was established through the efforts 
of Miss Annie T. Howard, who wished to perpetuate the memory of her 
father, the late Charles T. Howard. She donated $i 15,000 for the erection 
of the building, and in addition 8000 books and $200,000 for maintenance. 
The Library was formally opened March 4, 1889. 

The structure was planned by Henry H. Richardson, a native of Louisi 
ana and one of the best-known architects of his day. The design sub 
mitted by Richardson was Romanesque in treatment the heavy style 

318 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

of frequent occurrence in Southern France. Sandstone from Massachu 
setts was used in the construction of the building. Surrounded now by 
modern American structures, the building reminds one of a medieval 

The Howard Library does not circulate books but is used only as a re 
ference library. The chief object has been to collect and preserve for the 
use of the public a wide variety of books and documents on all subjects, 
particularly Louisiana. It offers a complete set of documents bearing on 
the early Colonial history of the State and a special collection on genea 
logy used extensively by students of this subject. Many of the letters 
and manuscripts of John McDonogh, General Beauregard, Adrien 
Rouquette, and Lakanal are available here. The books of General and 
Mrs. W. J. Behan relating to the Confederate States were donated in 
1929. The collection of the late Swiss consul, Emile Hoehn, has been 
loaned to the library for a period of time and is said to be one of the finest 
collections on Switzerland in the United States. The Ruth McEnery 
Stuart collection consists of a series of autographed books sent her by 
various authors previous to 1927, including many by Louisiana writers. 
The library has a rather complete supply of newspapers, magazines, and 
periodicals, among which is a complete set of De Bow s Review, one of the 
few files available in a public institution. Although the library has no 
exhibits, there are many fine old books laid away on the shelves. One of 
the most interesting collections is that containing three books by John 
James Audubon, beautifully bound in elephant size (about a yard and 
a half in length) and published in England in 1827-30. 
At present the Howard Library has approximately 86,000 books cata 
logued and stacked for the use of readers. An interlibrary loan system 
is carried on throughout Louisiana and the United States in order to offer 
a still greater variety of reference material to New Orleans readers. 
Recently the W.P.A. has made it possible to enlarge the building to make 
space for large collections formerly stored in basement and attic. 
81. The Confederate Memorial Hall, 929 Camp St., adjoining the Howard 
Library (adm. free; open weekdays 9-3), was built in 1891 to serve as a 
meeting place for the Louisiana Historical Association and as a repository 
of Confederate records and relics. Construction was made possible 
through a $40,000 gift of Frank T. Howard. 

The building was designed by Thomas O. Sully, a New Orleans architect. 
Care was taken that the general style should harmonize with that of ^ the 
adjoining Howard Library. The principal feature of the interior is a 
hall-like exhibition and meeting-room with a vaulted ceiling whose struc 
tural oak woodwork remains exposed. 

Collections and exhibits, filling 89 exhibition cases, include tattered and 
blood-stained flags from the battlefields; the celebrated Jefferson Davis 
Collection of 6000 pieces, from cradle to war boots; paintings of famous 
generals and other noted Civil War figures; and countless souvenirs 
characteristic of the war zone. There are also interesting and important 
manuscripts, many of which have never been published. 

Motor Tour 3 (Audubon Park and Universities) 319 

Continue around Lee Circle to St. Charles Ave. 

(For an alternate tour from this point see Motor Tour 4.) 

82. The Young Men s Christian Association, 936 St. Charles Ave., has the 
usual recreational and other facilities. (See Recreational Facilities.) 

83. The New Orleans Public Library, 1031 St. Charles Ave. at Lee Circle 
(open weekdays 9-9; Sun. 9-1), is an outgrowth of the various library 
societies formed in New Orleans early in the nineteenth century. The 
Commercial Library, purchased by B. F. French and made available 
to the public, and later purchased by Alvarez Fisk and presented to the 
city for a free public library, formed the nucleus of the present library. 
Successive library consolidations and donations from Andrew Carnegie 
and the heirs of Simon Hernsheim have contributed to the growth of the 

The main building of the New Orleans Public Library, marking the site 
of the car barns of the New Orleans and Carrollton Steam Railroad, was 
erected in 1908 by Diboll and Owen, New Orleans architects. The struc 
ture is steel and concrete throughout and of fire-proof construction. The 
architecture is of the Renaissance order, with certain features copied from 
the Roman Temple, Mars Ultor. The material used is gray Bedford 
stone. At the entrance portico are four Corinthian columns 32 feet in 
height. The upper end of the building is more irregular, terminating in 
an Ionic apse which harmonizes with the irregular shape of the site. The 
roof of the building is composed of slate with a central dome of bronze. 

The Public Library and its six branches combined contain about 275,000 
volumes, several thousand of which are in foreign languages. Among the 
outstanding collections is that of W. O. Hart, considered one of the most 
valuable on Dickens in the city or State, and the Le Monnier collection 
of Civil War material, including his personal scrapbook compiled during 
the war. A large number of the older classics and numerous volumes on 
early Louisiana history are also available. The section of the United 
States Library for the Blind which serves Louisiana, Mississippi, Ala 
bama, Arkansas, and part of Texas is located in the main building of the 
Public Library. An unusually complete file of magazines and periodicals 
may be found in the reading rooms. The circulation for home reading 
runs well over a million books annually. 

The statue of Benjamin Franklin, which stands just to the right of the 
entrance to the reading room of the New Orleans Public Library, has 
been declared by many to be the handsomest and finest piece of marble 
statuary in New Orleans. The famous printer-statesman is well por 
trayed in his three-cornered hat, pensively stroking his chin. 

The statue has an interesting history. Richard Henry Wilde, afterwards 
the first Professor of Law in the University of Louisiana (1847), met 
Hiram Powers, a struggling young sculptor, in Florence in 1835. After 
Wilde settled in New Orleans Powers wrote him that he was making a 
statue of Franklin which he hoped some day to place in the National 
Capitol. Wilde interested a number of leading citizens, and the statue was 

320 Sectional Descriptions and Tours 

bought for New Orleans, part payment being made to Powers in 1844. 
The remaining amount was to be paid upon delivery of the statue. In 
the meantime Wilde died, the Civil War came on, and Powers was for 
gotten; Powers, engrossed in his rapid climb to fame, likewise forgot New 
Orleans. In 1869 the contract was dug up, and the young sculptor was 
reminded forcefully of his obligations. Powers offered to finish the statue 
of Franklin and to ship it to New Orleans. The offer was accepted, and 
two years later the statue was duly shipped to the city. The statue 
arrived, and after much difficulty in raising freight charges, during which 
it was once advertised for sale, the amount was paid, and efforts were 
begun to secure the granite base which Powers had requested that it be 
placed upon. Two shipments of granite from Boston failed to reach New 
Orleans, and it was not until 1873 that the monument was set up and 
unveiled in Lafayette Square. 

Some years later it was noticed that the soft Italian marble was being 
damaged by exposure, and in 1909 the statue was moved to the New 
Orleans Public Library. 

Continue on St. Charles Ave. 

84. The First Methodist Church, 1108 St. Charles Ave., was constructed 
in 1906 by the oldest Methodist congregation in the city. The Roman 
esque building, constructed of pressed brick on a stone face foundation, 
is designed to meet all congregational needs. 

85. The Jerusalem (Shriners ) Temple, 1137 St. Charles Ave., erected in 
1916, has a large auditorium in which many of the city s plays and con 
certs are presented. 

86. The Athenaeum, uptown lake corner of St. Charles Ave. and Clio 
St., the home of the Young Men s Hebrew Association, was erected in 
1907, and served until recently as the ballroom for Mardi Gras balls. 

87. The Standard Oil Company of Louisiana, 2134 St. Charles Ave., 
occupies the building that was once the home of the Harmony Club, a 
private club no longer in existence. 

88. The Whitney House, 2200 St. Charles Ave., stands on the site of a 
small brick house erected before the Civil War and occupied by Randall 
Hunt, brother to William Hunt, Secretary of the Navy under President 
Garfield. About 1850 the property was purchased by Mrs. Charles A. 
Whitney, one of the wealthiest women of the country, who spent large 
sums of money converting the building into one of the most palatial 
homes in New Orleans. Large collections of Oriental and European art 
were bought, and rare exhibits of mosaics, candelabra, and bronzes were 
installed. The structure, which is of English and Spanish design, painted 
a dark green, was the scene of much lavish entertaining. 

89. Christ Church Cathedral, 2919 St. Charles Ave., the fourth Episcopal 
cathedral of New Orleans, was built in 1887. The Christ Church congre 
gation, organized in January, 1805, comprised the first Protestant associa 
tion of the Southwest. At this date the Protestant population of New 

Motor Tour 3 (Audubon Park and Universities) 321 

Orleans was so small and belonged to so many denominations that it 
was found impossible to build separate churches. A general Protestant 
meeting was therefore called to decide by vote the denomination of the 
common church. The Episcopalians won by a considerable majority. 

The first edifice was built at the corner of Canal and Bourbon Sts., and 
was demolished in 1835. The following year another church was erected 
on the opposite corner upon ground donated for the purpose by the city 
of New Orleans. In 1845 this site was sold, and a larger church erected 
on the corner of Canal and Dauphine, at a cost of $50,000. It was sold in 
1886, the congregation moving to its present home on St. Charles Ave. 
In 1891, the present Christ Church was made the procathedral, the rector 
then becoming titular dean. 

Christ Church Cathedral, of English Gothic style, is of brick and stucco* 
construction. In 1890 Mrs. J. L. Harris presented to the church, in mem 
ory of her husband, the bishop s house on St. Charles Ave. and the rec 
tory immediately behind the church on Sixth St. These parish dwellings 
communicate with the church building through a vine-covered cloister^ 
The church bell now in use was purchased in 1855. The large window on 
the west side was obtained from the old Canal St. church, as was the 
stone baptismal font in use today. 

L.from St. Charles Ave. on Delach